Capnoides sempervirens (Rock Harlequin) [20 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds only for gardeners who have experience with seeds that require or benefit from a cold-moist period to germinate.

The easiest approach is to sow (with the seeds barely covered with growing medium) in summer and look for seedlings in fall or next spring. Or, sow in fall through midwinter and leave outdoors for spring germination. As I mentioned in the description, I started my original plants by sowing in winter (on December 31) and leaving the pot outdoors. The seeds began germinating on April 1 and flowered the first year.

If you’re sowing after midwinter, giving the pot of sown seeds an artificial chilling period of about a month may work; I have not tried that myself, though. In 2023, I experimented with warm sowing (indoors, under lights) and did get a few seedlings: Seeds sown on March 25 started sprouting on April 3. I don’t know that I would recommend this approach, since the germination percentage was low, but it might be worth trying if you need just a few plants and don’t have time to provide the chilling period.

Be aware that self-sown plants, which have no root disturbance, tend to be much more vigorous than those you have transplanted. But when you’re trying to get this species established in your garden and starting with a small amount of seed, sowing in a pot and moving the seedlings to a holding area or your garden gives you more control. Let the resulting seedlings set and drop their seed, or collect the seeds and scatter them where you want the plants to grow the following year.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Rock harlequin (Capnoides sempervirens, formerly Corydalis sempervirens) is a lovely wildflower that’s right at home in the garden, with ferny blue foliage and sprays of pink-and-yellow flowers from late spring through summer on upright stems that usually reach 12 to 18 inches tall (but possibly to 3 feet in some sites). It’s normally classified as a biennial, producing just a mound of foliage the first year and flowers the second year. My experience it was different: from a winter sowing, the plants flowered the first year, starting in early June. I cut them back by about half in early July and they quickly produced new growth and flowers. Once you get rock harlequin to flower, it is very likely to self-sow. It is native to much of northern North America. These seeds are from plants I originally grew from a PA seed source. Rock harlequin is usually happiest in partial shade; can take more sun in cooler regions. Zones 4 to 8.

Collected starting in late June 2023. At least 20 seeds per packet. PA ecotype. Shipping to US addresses only.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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