Apr 25, 2009


Has it ever happened to you that you sow one seed and an entire different plant grows out of it? I’m sure that’s happened to us all at least one. Well, to me it seems to be happening continuously. A blue-flower maniac that I am, I planned to sow cornflower when I saw its brilliant blue blooms on the cover. I had sowed them before, only to lose at least 30 seedlings to the harsh rains last year. I kept records of how soon each seedling germinated and I saw from my database that the cornflower germinated within two days!

With the guarantee that Haemanta (Dewy Season) would bring in no rains, I sowed them wasting no time. Two days rolled by and the third too. There was no sign of life in the pot other than the Zinnia that seemed to be giving it up. I waited nevertheless.

It was the fourth day that I got two seedlings.

I was excited and the seedlings did look like Cornflower, but days later, they looked like this. 

Now, that doesn’t look like a cornflower! I wondered and waited and as it grew on, I realized that it definitely doesn’t look like cornflower.

Meanwhile the gaillardias that I sowed in another pot a week after I did the cornflower grew pretty fast.

Since I didn’t get 100% germination last time, I sowed extra seeds in the pot and this time all the five seeds germinated! Due to my laziness and procrastination, I kept postponing the transplantation.

That pot was big yes, but not big enough to accommodate 5 members! One of the seedlings was picked out by mistake and the four remained in the pot and in no time, they grew too big for me to pull them out. I decided to let them be – the inseparable quadruplets!

By now I realized that the Gaillardia seedlings looked similar to the Cornflower seedlings! Could this be Gaillardia, but how can a cat give birth to a pup? Are such mistakes possible? Soon, one of the Cornflower twins decided to treat me with her first bloom

 and four days later I realized that it was after all Gaillardia!

Isn’t that strange! I wasn’t disappointed but not getting a cornflower did upset me a bit. I’d have loved to see a blue bloom. It turned out to be red blues.

The twins are Gaillardia Fanfare! 

As I was enjoying their show, the quadruplets put out quite a show of their foliage. Look at how cool they look! Don’t they look like a fern?

With the arrival of Vasanta (Spring), twins went crazy and they started giving out twin

 and triplet flowers!

(The triplets might not be obvious in the above photo, but can you make out the seed head to the right, below?)

Not inches away, the quadruplets were inspired and began giving out buds, inspired by their cousins. I was still wondering about the Twins. Where did they come from?

Meanwhile one of the fanfare quadruplets turned out to be a Burgunder-cousin (or is he a Burgunder?

 I thought Burgunder didn’t have such tubular petals or did they? Besides, the variety that I bought was supposed to contain only fanfare, not the burgunder-kind.

Now, as I was wondering about the burgunder, I one day realized that after the loss of my initial set of gaillardia seedlings, I tried them in the same pot that cornflower is in now and the hurricane showers didn’t let it germinate. Later, I sowed cornflower, thinking the rains must have wasted the gaillardia seedlings. So, the cat didn’t beget a pup after all! But where did my cornflower seeds go? Is it possible that the seeds survived that harsh attack of showers? Didn’t the showers of watery arrows pierce their hearts and slay them?

The Burgunder still remains a mystery. I love its deep wine-red color! I sure am gonna save the seeds as I’d want them in my garden again next year.

Meanwhile the Fanfare twins became pregnant 

and in a matter of days gave out seeds that were ready to be incubated in the ground back again,

but I intend to collect one from those seed heads and 

I hope the rest would delight these unknown warblers or wrens, who’re still shy to visit Plantville.


Petra said...

Hello, well, this happens every now and then. But I must admit I liked the pictures and story ;O)
Last year I bought a climbing yello rose, and when it started blooming it was bright pink. !!!!
Have a nice weekend, Petra

Chandramouli S said...

Cool! Isn't it great when you get such surprises, though accompanied with a bit disappointment? That's what's cool about gardening - constant surprises! Thank you, Petra. Have a nice weekend!

Gary said...

Hi, happens to me all the time, I have learnt to wait and see what appears these daysSome seeds lay dormant for years. There is a story that during the war when there was nocricket at Lords, orchids came up through th turf, they must have been there for many years. Gary

Chandramouli S said...

Oh, that's an interesting information, Gary. I still miss the cornflowers! Hope they come up with the Gaillardia's departure. :D

Antigonum Cajan said...

I am more concerned about paying
an amount of money for twenty
four species of wild flowers
in a pack of seeds, and clearly
noticing only six showing at all.

Until, next.

PD Just discovered
Passiflora oerstedii in my daily
urban strolls. First sight in
over thirty years. A real cute.
Now in my growing, over one hundred

Marion said...

Wow, twins, triplets... Next thing, they'll have you on television! LOL! LOVE the photos of the strong-willed flowers who demanded to bloom. Blue is my favorite colored flower, too, and I once bought a "blue" rose, but it came out pale pink. I later read that it's very hard to get a blue rose because the soil must be a very specific acidity. (I am happy, though, with my pretty Lupinus texensis - "Texas Bluebonnets" - who surprised me and came back this year in my old wheelbarrow---they are NOT shy at all They even crowded out the Mint AND the Passionflower! Talk about pushy!)

Those double and triple blooms are amazing and made my morning. Thanks for sharing!!

tina said...

I think seeds do sometimes surprise us. They can surely lie dormant so maybe they were in the soil or blew in? I've had this happen. I must tell you, as much as I love the corn flowers, I think the gallardia is a much better deal!

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Well that was disappointing I'm sure. The gaillardia are so pretty though! Maybe the cornflowers will still come up. I found a corn flower seedling in my daughter's garden yesterday and I know it was planted last year.

Linda Lunda said...

What a superduper mixup!!!

Rose said...

This may not be what you intended, but these gaillardia are gorgeous! And I would say you were very successful with your seedlings. I've always liked the "Fanfare", but that burgundy flower is a new one to me--gorgeous! So, did you ever get any cornflowers?

I've had surprises like this before, but it can also happen with plants you buy. I discovered last year that the clematis I bought was actually two-in-one!

Chandramouli S said...

Antigonum Cajan: I understand your concerns, but here, we get two kinds - low quality and high quality seeds. You can't guarantee at least 90% germination, whereas almost all the high quality seed packets promise you more than 90% germination, which is pretty good. You can't help the one or two seeds not germinating. It can't be completely blamed on the manufacturer. May be we did something wrong with the growing conditions.

Passiflora oerstedii? Lucky you. I guess that's the purplish colored ones right?

Tina: I agree, Tina :) They do surprise us really, don't they! I love the Gaillardias too! Especially the Wine-red colored one.

They sure are pretty with mixed colors. I thought I bought only the Fanfare but I get other colors too! Hurray! Ah! I still yearn for the blue cornflower. Maybe I'll try them again.

LOL! Yes, Linda, but most of the times, it's cool in the garden.

Rose: They definitely are, Rose.No doubt about it. Burgundy was a surprise to me too. None yet. May be when the Gaillardia Twins get exhausted, they might come up.

It usually happens with the bought plants to me too. I got this Red Double Hibiscus and realized that it was a graft of red double hibiscus and the usual rose colored one. So, I get to enjoy both the blooms in a single plant! If the nursery woman had known that she'd have charged me double. Poor woman didn't notice, but as it is, the plants that I bought there were dead costly.

Chandramouli S said...

Marion: LOL! In my dreams! A blue rose? Wow! I thought rose never came in blue. That's a news to me! Try adding some ash to it. I do that to increase the soil's acidic content. My Ixoras love it.

Thank you, again, Marion :)

Antigonum Cajan said...

The flower of this rare Passiflora is
just like the flower in the orange pulp
one. But a third in size. The seeds
are flat, dark brown and minuscule.

Until then..

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you for the information, AC :)

Antigonum Cajan said...

Thanks to you, for your
manners/unique blog. Until then..

Jamie and Randy said...

Blue Cornflowers grow wild in large patches on the road side here. It would be a real treat for you. :-)--Randy

Linda Lunda said...

Its a small tulip... the yellow one.
Tulipa tarda.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chandramouli, what a tale of seeds and mixups! The gaillardias are wonderful, but when you want blue, they just aren't it! That is so funny, glad you aren't upset. Maybe get some more cornflower seeds and try again later on. We do find the cornflower seeds to germinate very quickly.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Chandramouli, lovely photos. Too bad the cornflower didn't show up. The gaillardias are pretty. I haven't planted them for ages! Must do so now after seeing your wonderful photos. I see flowers that I don't have and the want starts....!! Love the last photo too!

Chandramouli S said...

I'd grow wild if I came there, Randy. I'd love to visit your country at least once in my life. Hope that day comes soon.

Thank you for the identification, Linda. That bloom was so beautiful.

Frances: I have the cornflowers, but space is a constraint :( So I gotta wait, but sure the blue beauties would go into the soil soon.

Thank you, Kanak. You sure must plant these beauties. Especially if you get the Burgundy cultivar.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is difficult to be too upset when you end up with a lovely pot of flowers even though they aren't what you were expecting. Gardening is like that. There are so many pleasant surprises. Happy May Day.

Anonymous said...

This kind of thing happens to me all the time. I'm glad your seedlings got a chance to take root this time before your rainy season washed them away. :)

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry you didn't get the blue flowers you wanted. But I do love Gallardia, it's so bright and sunny! You say you have bottlebrush trees everywhere? When they get large, are they more of a weeping style tree?

Wayne Stratz said...

great story. I have recently planted two types of peppers in the same space. going to sell them as mystery peppers.

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you,Wayne. I'm sure those babies would find a great home. Mystery peppers! Cool!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Great post Chandramouli sorry about the cornflowers but this Gaillardia is amazing. I enlarge some pictures and I must say they are amazing.

Take care my friend/ Tyra

Antigonum Cajan said...

In regards to the original question
it has never happened to us (in third)
or to me.

Good luck in your projects. Hi! To the

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you, Tyra. I'm beginning to fall in love with these beauties too :)

Thank you, Antigonum Cajan :)

Gail said...

Hi...I just brought home a Gaillardia (I had to it was the name!) and will see what it looks like once it blooms! This double and triple effect is new to me! Very different looking! I direct sowed zinnias but the heavy rains seemed to have washed them away! Must plant more! gail

Kelly said...

...one of the wonderful things of gardening...we can never be certain what will happen. Beautiful flowers...love the double and triple heads!

Chandramouli S said...

The doubles and triples were a pleasant surprise to me too, Gail. I hope they do it again. Zinnias! That reminds me of the Zinnias that once did great in the pot that's now occupied by the Gaillardia Twins.

Kelly: Said true, Kelly. I love 'em too and pray they come back again :D Thank you :) Hope you liked your stay here.