Rhexia virginica (Virginia Meadow Beauty) [20 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds only for gardeners who have experience handling very small seeds that may benefit from or require a chilling period.

One approach is to surface-sow the tiny seeds as evenly as possible over moist growing mix in a pot in late fall to midwinter, then set it outdoors so it can get a natural chilling period. I started my seeds using the winter-sowing technique (in a milk jug). Seeds I sowed on January 7 started sprouting on May 3; your experience will likely vary. Or, you could try giving the pot of sown seeds an artificial chilling period of 2 to 3 months.

I have read that you can instead try starting the seeds in warm conditions (indoors, under lights, in late winter to mid spring or outdoors from mid spring to mid summer). If no seedlings appear after 3 to 4 weeks, then give the pot an artificial chilling period.

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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Virginia meadow beauty (Rhexia virginica), also known by the quirky name of handsome Harry, was new for me from seed in 2022. Based on what I’d read about it, I figured it was a gamble, as it seemed to have pretty specific site needs: moist to wet, acid soil, which I have in abundance in my meadow but not in the propagation area where I raise seedlings. Though the young plants stayed rather short, with their four-sided stems reaching just about 1 foot instead of the 18 or so inches they may reach when older, they grew beautifully in my raised beds with just occasional watering, despite the remarkably hot and dry weather conditions. I was surprised that they flowered the first year from seed, producing bright purplish pink, four-petaled flowers with prominent yellow stamens in mid to late summer. I expect they may start earlier—in early summer—next year. The flowers, which are pollinated by bumblebees, then ripened into small, reddish seed capsules in late summer and early fall. This pretty wildflower is native to much of the eastern half of North America. Full sun to light shade; prefers moist to wet, acidic soil but is apparently adaptable. Perennial; Zones 3 to 9.

2022-collected seeds are sold out. I hope to collect again in fall 2023. At least 20 seeds. Limited supply this year; one packet per customer. Shipping to US addresses only.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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