Nigella will reseed if left to its own devices but I decided to collect some seed to make sure I could scatter it in spring right where I wanted it.
I particularly wanted to collect seed from the plants I have to make sure I got the exact same variety of flower. These blooms start white with a hint of blue, then begin to darken turning a stark blue and finally almost purple.
|These pretty flowers darken to a purple before completely fading away|
Nigella is a very simple plant to collect seed from. Once the bloom fades and falls away the seed pod swells up to a very noticable size.
|The seed head left behind blows up like a balloon.|
|Plants were hung upside down from the garage rafters|
|The dried pod starts to crack open revealing black seeds inside|
This vintage screen was purchased at a local antique shop and I'm smitten with it. The edges are worn smooth from years of use. Building a screen like this shouldn't be too hard though. Some fine wire and a few pieces of wood. Screens are also available for purchase at various shops like Lee Valley.
Quickly rubbing the pods across the screen tore them apart and the seeds fell through the wire mesh.
|I finally found a use for the Walmart flyers!|
The stems and pod that didn't fall through the screen were easily tipped into the compost.
Seeds and some chaff were left behind on the paper.
If I had a smaller screen I would have used it to further sift the seeds but in this case I simply sorted the remaining seeds from the chaff by hand. The black seeds of Nigella are fairly large and easy to sort so it's not a difficult job. A lot of seed is produced by just a few seedheads so I'll have more than enough to plant up the empty spaces in my garden this coming season.