Hi! Anyone have good ideas on propagating by seed?? I have wild seed and want to grow some in my garden and possibly plant out in marsh area near to me to try and re-establish Marsh Fritillary butterfly. Would appreciate guidance.
Don't do it is my guidance. Wildlife should be wild, not planted or introduced. Where are you planning to take your marsh fritillaries from?
..it's not a good idea to plant things in a wild area if you don't have the full picture, and I would never condone individuals doing such a thing. But would you not agree that re-introduction schemes have their place? And if the land belongs to the OP, he can plant what he likes, and British natives can be a good option. The invertebrates can come along later, if they so choose.
I don't understand your position Alyson. You say you would never condone planting things in the wild if you don't have the full picture, but it can be good for owner-occupiers to do so.
I can agree that the owner has the right to do so, provided it is not SSSI, but that does not make it the right thing to do. Yes, re-introduction schemes have their place - usually in the list of follies perpetrated by mis-guided people.
Many British native plants make excellent garden subjects. I've enjoyed an amazing display from Viper's Bugloss in my own garden this year. I didn't actually plant it, it decided to seed into the sand my patio was laid on and was almost like a hedge around the patio. This allowed me to observe the plants as basal rosettes in the first year and all the bees working it this year; it's been a rewarding encounter.
I realise that re-introduction schemes can be controversial, but I'm happy to be involved with monitoring dormice, re-introduced in the area 20 years ago, and with limestone grassland restoration.
I let a number of wild native species grow in my small garden - Herb robert, Stinging nettles (for butterflies) wild strawberries and others. I am not sure that the idea of re-introducing species such as beaver, wolf and wild boar (already out there in the Forest of Dean and Kent as escapes from farming)is good. I have dormice (not re-introduced) near to me!
The more I know the more I realise I don't know
Appreciate your comments - at the moment I just want to grow for my garden. Any possibility of planting out in marsh area I will fully discuss with Country Side Commision for Wales and local Wildlife Trust. There are already some S. pratensis in this area and Marsh fritilary are not far away. I do not intend to artificially introduce this butterfly
... you go right ahead and do it.
Here's some info you might find useful:
"don't propagate wild flowers", what an odd attitude - in my experience, the mix of wild flowers on any given piece of land changes over time anyway, and I fail to see why giving a helping hand to certain species should cause any sort of problem.
Within your own garden, or land that you own, I rather think that you have the right to plant what you damned well like - except for obvious baddies such as knotweed, giant hogweed, blah blah.
Considering that this seed is commonly available in wild flower mixes that anyone can buy and scatter, I hardly think that you are going to be ruining an ecology by sowing seed in an area in which they are already extant.
As for John's comment about the marsh fritilleries, I suspect he misunderstood, and thought you were talking about plants, not butterflies.
And if I were you - just my personal opinion - I would not ask the opinion of any commmissions or local trusts.
How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
Many thanks your info. I will try in seed compost in the autumn but '18-21 C' outside then is impossible!
Presumably they mean you can sow them indoors at any time, in the warmth: if you sow them outdoors in autumn then germination won't occur until the following year, when the temperature rises.
As they are perennials, you could try sowing some of your seed into compost/pots now, to see if you can get small plants established before autumn?
Good luck with the project!
Thanks ideas. I'm trying some seed in fridge for 2months then sow plus will sow some in a pot now. I'll see how this works and will let you know. Bought seed from Emorsgate Seeds - they seem to be reliable for genuine wild seeds. They have problems germination this seed and are working with Kew.
In the meantime, I wonder if you can help me with tree identification - previously posted on iSpot: http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/350604?nav=users_observations
Bark looks like Betulina but leaves and shape don't fit with Birches around here.
... not quite sure which one, from the photos provided.
If you can get back to the location, I would ask you to look at the base of the trunk, are there black diamonds at the base, or not?
Also, is your leaf a typical specimen? It looks as though it is doubly toothed... and what is it like underneath, glabrous (like the top surface, which appears shiny) or pubescent (hairy) in which case, all over? Veins only?
The rounded shape looks like B. pubescens (which would not have the black diamonds at the base of the trunk) but if so, it should have densely pubescent petioles (leaf stalks) which I can't see in your photos.
Birches do hybridise....
Hope this helps, and yes, please, do let me know about the germination. And keep notes!!