J. L. HUDSON,
2014 SEEDLIST - M
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LEGUMINOSAE. Handsome East Asian deciduous trees related to Cladrastis, grown for their panicled white flowers. Very hardy. Nick and soak seeds or give hot water treatment to germinate in 1 - 3 weeks.
—Maackia amurensis. (25) MAAC-3. Packet: $2.50
White 1/3" flowers tinged slate blue in dense upright 4 - 8" particles in July and August. Small tree to 40 feet, with pinnate leaves. Manchuria. Zone 4. Very hardy and ideal for landscaping as it blooms when young. Try naturalizing it in the Northeast.
PROTEACEAE. Tropical nut-bearing trees.
NEW—Macadamia tetraphylla. (5) MACA-23. Packet: $3.00
50 seed: $20.00 (plus $6.00 postage in the U.S., $11.00 to Canada, $15.50 to México, $17.00 everywhere else) BULK OUT OF STOCK - PACKETS ARE AVAILABLE
Fresh seed, stored refrigerated.
'MACADAMIA NUT'. Foot-long pendulous racemes of pink or white flowers, followed by large edible nuts. Tree to 40 feet, with large dark green, prickly-toothed leaves. Eastern Australia. Called 'rough-shell macadamia', this is hardier than the common one, and stands down to 20°F. Good in inland areas of southern California. The nuts are sweeter than the common one. Warmth to germinate.
LILIACEAE. Low rhizomatous perennials with white flowers. Related to lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria). Easy in shady places.
—Maianthemum dilatatum. (25) MAIA-12. Packet: $2.50
Gram: $7.50, 5 grams: $15.00
'BEAD-RUBY'. Tiny white flowers in 2" spikes, followed by golden to red 1/4" berries. Hardy perennial to 4 - 16", with large, heart-shaped 2 - 8" leaves. Moist shady woods, Pacific Northwest to East Asia. The berries were eaten by the Indians, and the plant was used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Seed germinates in 3 - 5 months warm.
CRUCIFERAE. Hardy annuals and perennials from the Mediterranean and Mideast, grown for their showy flowers. Easy in almost any soil, prefers full sun. Sow in early spring or fall, and thin to 3" apart.
—Malcomia maritima 'Choice Mix'. (1000) MALC-3X. Packet: $2.00
Oz: $5.00, 1/4 lb: $10.00
'VIRGINIA STOCK'. Bright red, rose and white inch-wide 4-petaled flowers covering the plant. Hardy annual to 8 - 12". Mediterranean. Sown in large drifts they make a vivid display. Six weeks from sowing to bloom. Succession sowings are nice. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks.
MALVACEAE. 'MALLOW', 'CHEESES' (from the shape of the fruit). About 30 herbaceous species grown for their attractive flowers or for food (since 6000 BC). Very easily grown in most soils, full sun or light shade, and they may be sown where they are to flower. Germinates in 1 - 4 weeks. Seed long-lived; they have been sprouted from 200 year old adobe bricks in California and México. Nicking may help.
—Malva moschata alba. (100) MALA-10A. Packet: $2.50
'WHITE MUSK MALLOW'. Lovely pure white. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks. About half are hard.
—Malva moschata 'Appleblossom'. (50) MALA-10P. Packet: $2.50
Soft appleblossom-pink 2" wide flowers from June to September. Hardy perennial to 20", with deeply divided foliage. Europe. Zone 3. Germinates in 1 - 12 weeks.
—Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana. (100) MALA-22M. Packet: $2.50
5 grams: $12.00, 10 grams: $20.00
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'ZEBRA MALLOW'. Clustered hollyhock-like flowers range from white to rosy purple, with dark purple veins, giving the petals a striped look. Hardy perennial often grown as an annual, to 3 - 4 feet. Blooms first year and from June to September in subsequent years. Europe. Zone 3. The flowers are edible and a nice addition to salads, and the young leaves are good in salads or boiled like greens. Nick seed, germinates in 1 - 4 weeks.
LABIATAE. Bitter aromatic Eurasian perennials. Easy in poor, hot, dry soils and full sun. Germinates in 1 - 3 weeks, best at very warm temperatures.
—Marrubium supinum. (100) MARR-8. Packet: $2.50
'SCALLOP-SHELL'. Rosy-red flowers in short spikes in summer. Hardy perennial to 10", with woolly crinkled leaves. Mediterranean. Zone 5. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks.
—Marrubium vulgare. (100) MARR-10. Packet: $2.50
10 grams: $9.00
'HOREHOUND'. White-woolly hardy perennial to 1 - 2 feet, with small crinkled leaves and white flowers in whorls. W. Asia and Mediterranean. Zone 3. Aromatic and bitter. Called 'Seed of Horus' by the ancient Egyptians, it has a long medicinal history, and horehound candy is a popular cold remedy. It contains a powerful anti-viral compound. Used to brew ale.
COMPOSITAE. 'MAYWEED'. Hardy annuals and perennials with finely cut foliage and a profusion of attractive daisy-like flowers. Widespread. Easily grown in almost any soil, preferring full sun. Nice for edging or in drifts. Sow where they are to stand. Barely cover. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks. Seed viable 2 - 3 years. Blooms about 16 weeks from seed.
—Matricaria Chamomilla. (=recutita) (1000) MATI-2. Packet: $2.50
Oz: $8.00, 1/4 lb: $24.00
'GERMAN CHAMOMILE'. White inch-wide daisies with yellow disks. Hardy sweet-scented annual to 2 1/2 feet with finely divided ferny foliage. Europe, W. Asia. Zone 4. Very popular for a pleasant, relaxing bedtime tea. The volatile oil has been used as a solvent in applying platinum to glass. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks.
CRUCIFERAE. 'STOCKS'. Deliciously scented, easily grown annuals and perennials, cottage garden favorites. Splendid plants valued for their greyish foliage topped with dense showy spikes of clove-scented bloom. Excellent for cut flowers. Likes deep moist soil in sun or part shade. Lovely winter pot plant. Sow on the surface as light helps germination, which takes 1 - 2 weeks at cool temperatures. Seed half life is 7 - 10 years.
—Matthiola bicornis. (=longipetala) (500) MATH-10. Packet: $2.00
Oz: $6.00, 1/4 lb: $18.00
'EVENING-SCENTED STOCK', 'PERFUME PLANT'. Lilac-pink 3/4" flowers are closed during the day and open in the evening to scent the air with a powerful perfume. Hardy annual to 20" with narrow leaves. Greece. "Wonderfully fragrant."—Sunset. Plant beneath the bedroom window.
PAPAVERACEAE. Hardy annuals, biennials and perennials grown for their large showy flowers, which are produced in profusion from June to September. Excellent in the border, rock, and wild garden. Most are hardy, and prefer a moist, partly shady position, but with well drained soil that will not get soggy in winter. Some require a cool moist summer, and planting these on the north side of a stone will help provide a cool root zone. Equal parts peat, leaf mold and sand a foot deep is recommended. Best grown from seed. The perennials are deep rooted and long-lived and should not be disturbed once established. The monocarpic (seeding only once) biennial and triennial species can sometimes be flowered for several years if the first flower-buds are cut out. Sow annuals early and plant out at the end of April. The biennials and perennials should be started in flats on the North side of the house or other cool, shaded place. These will benefit greatly from one week of cold treatment if sown in summer. Plant out in September where they are to grow. They are magnificent plants, and not as difficult to grow as many think, and their exquisite flowers and often striking foliage are worth the extra attention to their requirements needed in establishing them.
—Meconopsis betonicifolia. (100) MECO-2. Packet: $3.00
1/4 gram: $7.50, Gram: $18.00
'BLUE POPPY'. Beautiful sky-blue 2 - 3" flowers in cymes. Hardy perennial to 6 feet, with 6" toothed leaves. China. Zone 6. Blooms the second year from seed sown in spring and planted out in August or September. Germinates in about 2 - 6 weeks.
—Meconopsis betonicifolia 'Hensol Violet'. (100) MECO-2V. Packet: $3.00
1/4 gram: $7.50, Gram: $18.00
Lovely lilac-rose 2 - 3" flowers, May to July. Hardy perennial to 2 feet. Zone 6. A splendid variety. Germinates in about 2 - 6 weeks.
—Meconopsis X Sheldonii 'Lingholm'. (100) MECO-21L. Packet: $3.00
1/4 gram: $7.50, Gram: $18.00
Beautiful clear rich blue 1 1/4" flowers in May to July. Hardy perennial to 3 feet, with bristly 6 - 10" leaves. Zone 5. (M. betonicifolia X grandis) germinates in 2 - 6 weeks.
UMBELLIFERAE. Large monocarpic plants grown for the foliage and large umbels of flowers.
—Melanoselinum decipiens. (50) MELAN-7. Packet: $2.50
25 grams: $9.00
'BLACK PARSLEY'. Giant umbels with multiple heads, to almost 3 feet across, and towering to 7 or 8 feet tall. Tender perennial with large divided leaves. Blooms once, then dies. Rare endemic to Madeira. Zone 9. Best in moist to wet sheltered spots. Good in California. Germinates in 4 - 6 weeks.
MELIACEAE. Handsome Asian and Australian trees and shrubs grown in California and the South. GA-3 helps germination.
—Melia Azedarach. (10) MELIA-3. Packet: $2.00
Oz: $6.00, 1/4 lb: $12.00
'CHINABERRY', 'PERSIAN LILAC', 'BEAD TREE'. Fragrant lilac flowers with purple-black centers, in loose clusters in early summer, followed by round yellow 1/2 - 3/4" fruits which persist after the leaves have fallen. Fast-growing spreading-crowned tree to 30 - 50 feet, with handsome 3 foot long bipinnate leaves. Asia. Hardy to Zone 7. Valuable shade tree for warm regions. Wood hard, durable and used in cabinet making. Seeds made into rosaries, and fruits attract birds. Seeds germinate easily in 1 - 3 months at warm temperatures. All parts medicinal. Closely related to the famous Neem tree, it has insecticidal properties and needs more research to determine the similarities.
MELIANTHUS (me-lee-AN -thus)
MELIANTHACEAE. Evergreen, sun-loving S. African shrubs grown in mild climates for their attractive unusual foliage, and spikes of nectar-rich flowers.
—Melianthus major. (10) MELH-12. Packet: $4.00
'HONEY FLOWER'. Inch-long brownish-red tubular flowers in foot-long spikes, August to November. Handsome shrub to 10 feet, with 1 1/2 foot blue-green pinnate leaves. S. Africa. Zone 7. Germinates in 1 - 8 weeks or so.
LABIATAE. 'BALM'. Perennial herbs from Europe and Asia. Name comes from the Greek for 'bee', as bees are attracted to the plants. Sow after all danger of frost is past. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks.
—Melissa officinalis Gold Leaf. (50) MELS-1G. Packet: $3.00
'GOLDEN LEMON BALM'. Striking golden and green foliage in spring, changing to light green. Golden color best in part shade. Germinates in 1 week.
LABIATAE. 'MINT'. Easily grown tender perennial herbs grown for seasoning, medicine, aromatic oil and ornament. Sow seed in any good moist garden soil in spring. They spread by runners.
—Mentha X piperita. (500) MENT-12. Packet: $2.50
Gram: $7.50, 5 grams: $17.00
'PEPPERMINT'. Purple flowers and purple-tinged leaves. To 2 - 3 feet. Likes moist places. Zone 2. The most-used mint, Oil of Peppermint is found in a great range of preparations from toothpaste to candy. Excellent remedy for nausea fever and rheumatism. Varies greatly from seed. Germinates in 1 - 3 weeks warm.
—Mentha Pulegium. (500) MENT-13. Packet: $2.50
'PENNYROYAL'. Spikes of lavender flowers on a sprawling, small-leaved herb. Spreads well in moist areas. Zone 7. The pungent leaves are a good insect repellant, and are medicinal. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks.
LOASACEAE. N. and S. American plants grown for their showy flowers. Easy in light rich soil in sunny spots. Good in the border, wild garden, or pots, blooming June to October. Sow 1/8" deep outdoors in March and April, or in fall in warm regions. They bloom in about 10 weeks.
—Mentzelia decapetala. (100) MENZ-2. Packet: $2.50
'GIANT EVENING STAR'. Huge cream to yellow 4 - 5" ten-petaled, sweet-scented flowers open at night, up to 40 - 50 blooms per plant. Very hardy biennial or perennial to 2 - 4 feet, with lobed, lance-shaped leaves. Dry rocky soil, plains and foothills, Alberta to Iowa and México. Zone 3. Give seed 4 weeks cold to germinate in 4 weeks or so.
CONVOLVULACEAE. Twiners with bell or funnel-shaped morning glory-like flowers and divided or entire leaves. Mostly tropical, they are valued for their fast growth, attractive foliage, and some for ornamental pods or edible tubers. Easily grown in ordinary soil, the roots of the perennials can be stored over winter like Dahlias.
—Merremia sibirica. (10) MERR-3. Packet: $2.50
1/4 Oz: $15.00, Oz: $35.00
Pale pink 3/4" flowers on a vigorous vine to 20 feet. Long, heart-shaped leaves, 2 1/2" wide and 4 1/2" long, turning red in autumn. Reddish stems. Grown from seed from Beijing, China. Hardy annual. Nick seed to germinate in a week. Blooms in 3 months. "It is certainly a profuse bloomer. I had three plants on a trellis, and it was not uncommon to see up to a hundred flowers each morning!"—E. Kniola.
LEGUMINOSAE. Warm region herbs, shrubs and trees grown for their showy, puff-like flowers and attractive feathery foliage. They make lovely specimens in the greenhouse or outdoors in California and the South. Nick seed to germinate in 1 - 3 weeks at warm temperatures. Grow like Acacia.
—Mimosa pudica. (50) MIMO-7. Packet: $2.50
1/4 Oz: $6.00, Oz: $12.00
'SENSITIVE PLANT'. Lavender puff-like flowers and feathery pinnate foliage which closes quickly at a touch. Shrub to 3 feet. Tropical America. Easily grown as an annual. Movement best at warm temperatures. Pop seed out of husk, nick, germinates in 1 - 3 weeks.
"Sometimes, there are no answers."—J.L.H.
SCROPHULARIACEAE. 'MONKEY-FLOWER'. Popular annuals and perennials grown for their showy tubular flowers. They prefer a moist soil and part shade, and are excellent for naturalizing in woodlands. They smother themselves in summer with their vivid, often spotted flowers, which, seen at the right angle may resemble a monkey's face. Sow from January to April indoors or April - June where they are to stand. Excellent floriferous pot plants. Sow on the surface, germinates in 1 - 4 weeks warm.
—Mimulus luteus 'Tigrinus grandiflorus'. (1000) MIM-28T. Packet: $2.50
1/4 Oz: $7.50
'TIGER MONKEY FLOWER'. Large bright yellow 1 1/2" flowers spotted with red and mahogany. Trailing perennial often grown as an annual, to 8 - 12" tall. Chile. Zone 6. Fine plant for moist areas.
—Mimulus ringens. (10,000) MIM-40. Packet: $2.50
'ALLEGHENY MONKEY FLOWER'. Pale lavender 3/4" long flowers with yellow palates. Hardy perennial to 2 - 4 feet, with 4" leaves. Swamps and moist meadows, E. U.S. Sow as early as March for flowers the first year. Prefers cool temperatures to germinate. Very hardy, to minus 35°F. "Nice garden plant, which blooms more than a month... doesn't require as much water as other marsh plants."—Goldman. For best germination use GA-3 to sprout in 4 weeks.
MINA (MEE-na or MY-na)
CONVOLVULACEAE. A single species. Easily grown.
—Mina lobata 'Exotic Love'. (=Ipomoea lobata) (10) MINA-1EL. Packet: $3.00
10 grams: $12.00, 25 grams: $20.00 (about 50 seed per gram)
Unusual rich crimson 3/4" flower buds fading through orange to yellow, in curved, one-sided spikes. Each spike may have up to 12 flowers in various stages of development, producing a striking effect. Strong climbing vine to 15 - 20 feet, with 3-lobed leaves. México. Good in pots and hanging baskets. "It is a very free bloomer, and deservedly popular."—H. D. House. Nick seed to germinate in 1 - 2 weeks.
NYCTAGINACEAE. Showy tuberous-rooted perennials from the warm regions of the Americas, grown as annuals in the North. The name means 'admirable'. Best in a sunny spot. Easy from seed. They are wonderful old-fashioned favorites. In cold climates the roots may be dug and wintered like dahlias.
—Mirabilis Jalapa Mixed. (50) MIRA-6. Packet: $1.50
Oz: $5.00, 1/4 lb: $10.00
'FOUR-O'CLOCK', 'MARVEL-OF-PERU'. Fragrant, trumpet-shaped 1 - 2" flowers in bright shades of red, magenta, pink, yellow, and white, sometimes striped and blotched. Showy, profusely-blooming tender perennial to 3 feet, with deep green 2 - 6" leaves, forming an attractive mound of bloom. Tropical America. Long tuberous roots may reach 40 pounds in warm climates. Grow as an annual in the North, or lift tubers like dahlias. The fragrance is said to drive away mosquitoes, and the flowers are used as food coloring in China. An old-fashioned favorite, cultivated since 1596. 'Jalapa' is a Mexican town, pronounced ha-LA-pa. Germinates in 1 - 4 weeks.
—Mirabilis Jalapa Pink. (50) MIRA-6P. Packet: $1.50
—Mirabilis Jalapa White. (50) MIRA-6W. Packet: $1.50
Oz: $5.00, 1/4 lb: $10.00
—Mirabilis Jalapa Yellow. (50) MIRA-6Y. Packet: $1.50
Oz: $5.00, 1/4 lb: $10.00
—Mirabilis Jalapa Marbles Yellow-Red. (25) MIRA-6YR. Packet: $2.50
25 grams: $8.00, 100 gm: $26.00
Large flowers splashed, mottled, and speckled red and yellow. Choice!
—Mirabilis Jalapa 'California Wild Magenta'. (25) MIRA-6C. Packet: $2.50
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Clear magenta flowers abundantly produced on a bushy tender perennial to 3 feet. This type is found growing wild in waste places in California. One of the first plants I grew as a boy, after nearly 50 years they still come up in my mom's garden, where I collected this seed. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks.
CUCURBITACEAE. Tendril climbing vines grown for their attractive fruits. Quick growing, preferring warm moist soil and a long season. Start early indoors in the North, and treat like cucumbers. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at warm temperatures. Seed viable 3 -4 years.
NEW—Momordica Charantia 'India'. (10) MOMO-2I. Packet: $2.50
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'INDIAN BITTER MELON'. Fruits much more ridged and bumpy than the regular bitter melon, preferred in India. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks.
'BALSAM PEAR', 'CHINESE BITTER MELON'. Yellow inch wide flowers followed by odd attractive warty, 4 - 9" football shaped fruits which turn orange when ripe and split to expose the seeds, which are enclosed in dark red jelly-like arils. Quick growing annual vine to 30 feet, with deeply lobed leaves. Tropics. The unripe fruits are prized by Hindus for curries, and are eaten after boiling to remove the bitterness by the Chinese. The bright red aril surrounding the seed are also said to be eaten, and the bitter leaves have been used as a vegetable. Bitter parts eaten to excess may be toxic. The ripe fruits are soaked in alcohol and used externally as a rub for skin diseases, muscle and head aches. An extract has proved to have insulin-like properties, affirming the folk use for diabetes. The juice is being researched against pancreatic cancer. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks warm.
LABIATAE. Aromatic perennial and annual herbs, some with showy scarlet or purple blooms. Good in masses in a sunny border. Easy culture, will thrive in any good soil. Divide in spring; plants disturbed in fall often die in winter. Sow on the surface, germinates in 1 - 4 weeks. Cool temperatures help some.
—Monarda citriodora. (1000) MOND-2. Packet $2.00
Oz: $6.00, 1/4 lb: $18.00
'LEMON BEE BALM'. Purple or yellow showy flowers. Annual or perennial to 32". Zone 5. Highly lemon-scented. The mature seedheads are attractive dried.
—Monarda didyma 'Panorama'. (100) MOND-3X. Packet: $3.00
'BERGAMOT', 'BEE BALM', 'OSWEGO TEA'. Highly aromatic herb with showy scarlet, purple or pink flowers in starry whorls. To 2 feet. Zone 4. The fragrant leaves are used alone as a tea, or are mixed with black tea as flavoring. Excellent bee plant. Stunning when flowering. Likes moist soil.
—Monarda fistulosa. (1000) MOND-9. Packet: $2.50
'WILD BERGAMOT'. Lilac 1 1/2" flowers in clusters with colored bracts. Hardy perennial to 2 - 5 feet, with 4" leaves. N. America. Zone 4. The strongly fragrant leaves were used when cooking meat, and were chewed by the Indians. They make a pleasant aromatic tea. The volatile oil is over 50% carvacrol. Germinates in 1 - 3 weeks, with stragglers to 5 months.
—Monarda punctata. (500) MOND-15. Packet: $2.50
'SPOTTED BEEBALM'. Inch-long yellow flowers spotted with purple, in dense wheel-like whorls, surrounded by purple-pink bracts. Hardy perennial to 3 feet, with narrow 3" leaves. E. U.S. Zone 4. The dried seedheads are attractive. A strongly aromatic and flavorful herb with a thyme-like scent. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks.
PORTULACACEAE. Widespread small annuals or perennials with small flowers.
—Montia perfoliata. (=Claytonia perfoliata). (100) MONT-10. Packet: $2.50
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'MINER'S LETTUCE'. Bright green annual to 6 - 12", noted for the unusual cup-like leaf below the spike of small white flowers. Young leaves narrow, broadening as the plant matures. W N. America. Shady places. Excellent in salads, called 'miner's lettuce' as it was eaten by the gold rush miners. It is one of the first wild plants we learned to eat as kids growing up in California. Can be grown as a cut-and-come-again greens. Germinates best with light and cool temperatures, or GA-3.
MORINGACEAE. Interesting and useful tropical trees of semi-arid regions of Asia and Africa. Easily grown in warm areas of the U.S. or in the greenhouse. Easy from seed. Germinates in 2 - 4 weeks.
—pterygosperma. (=Moringa oleifera) (10) MORG-16. Packet: $2.50
'HORSERADISH TREE', 'SAJAN'. Clustered, inch-wide, fragrant, oddly-shaped flowers followed by 12 - 18" pods. Tripinnate leaves. India. Valuable multi-use tree. Leaves eaten boiled or fried, and are especially rich in the sulfur-bearing amino acids methionine and cystine, which balance bean protein, and in vitamin A; planted to prevent deficiency-blindness. Young pods called 'drumsticks', eaten cooked or pickled. Seeds yield a fine edible oil (ben oil), also used by watchmakers. The roots have a horseradish flavor and are used as a condiment. Germinates in 2 - 4 weeks.
MORACEAE. Wide-ranging deciduous trees grown for their delicious blackberry-like fruits.
—Morus nigra. (100) MORU-16. Packet: $2.50
10 grams: $7.50, 25 grams: $12.50
'BLACK MULBERRY'. Sweet, juicy purple-black berries to 1" long. Hardy deciduous tree to 30 feet, with broad 8" leaves. West-central Asia. Zone 5. The berries are good fresh or dried, and the leaves are used to feed silkworms. Germinates in 1 - 2 weeks.
"Coercion is the least efficient means of obtaining order."—U. K. LeGuin.
LEGUMINOSAE. Showy tropical vines grown for ornament, soil building and cattle forage. Some are among the most brilliant and dramatic of the world's plants. Frost tender, good in the far South and in the greenhouse, some blooming and maturing seed as far north as Maryland and Kansas. Easy from seed in most soils, sprouts quickly. Some are bat-pollinated.
NEW—Mucuna sempervirens. (5) MUCU-76. Packet: $5.00
'SEA BEAN', 'TOBI-KAZURA' (Japanese name meaning 'flying vine'). Purple-black to red-yellow 3" waxy flowers in 8" clusters in spring, followed by 12" pods. Large evergreen tropical climber to 40 feet, with trifoliate 5" leaves. China. Zone 10. Nick.
UMBELLIFERAE. A single species.
—Myrrhis odorata. (25) MYRR-1. Packet: $2.50
10 grams: $12.00, 25 gm: $20.00
'SWEET CICELY', 'MYRRH'. Sweet-scented, lacy, fern-like foliage and large umbels of white flowers on 2 - 3 foot stems. Europe. Zone 4. The fragrant foliage has a sweet taste and is used as a potherb, in salads, to flavor vinegar, etc. "The leaves taste as if sugar had been sprinkled over them."—Grieve. The roots are eaten in salads or boiled. The chopped green seeds are eaten as flavoring. Plant out 2 feet apart. Will produce for many years. Seed best sown in fall to germinate in spring. If sown in spring, give at least 2 - 4 months cold treatment, and best to freeze a few times during this. Will then germinate in 1 - 3 months. It is absolutely a myth that the seed is only viable a few weeks; it just goes into deep dormancy if not sown right off the plant. I've had high germination from seed one and two years old, and D. Downs reports 3 years.