Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brainstorm: Seedling Portrait Database

 Calandrinia ciliata (Red Maids) ?!

As I inspected the garden and my seedlings this morning, I had an idea.  How am I supposed to know if that thing in the front yard is a Red Maids or some invasive nasty?  That sprout in my Lupine container:  Lupine or...?  And those wilflower mixes- what a confusing mess!  Ok, so patience is one avenue (which when it comes to propogation, I have none). 

But what about starting a database of seedling photos for wildflower species?  Those that want to participate could submit sprout portraits to a wiki and label the California wildflowers they have experience growing.  Maybe include tips or germination information.  I'm sure that it is possible to find this information already for each species, but is there one place where you can cruise through seedling photos yet?

Lupinus succulentus or Arroyo Lupine seedling (I think)

Town Mouse's post about her experience starting seeds really mirrored my own and struck quite a chord.  I think our blogging community has been so supportive and I so enjoy learning many wonderful new things from all of you!  I also believe in the gospel of planting native and think there should be more resources out there for folks who want to get their feet wet (or hands dirty?).

I'll keep you posted on the progress of this new resource, but please tell me if there's something else out there that I can add to or if you have ideas as to how this should take shape.   


  1. This is a great idea. I have collected some images of seedlings, though most have true leaves since it is so hard to id from cotyledons. Just knowing the annual wildflowers without flowers is hard! I'd be happy to contribute my images to this worthy endeavor.

  2. By the way, your first image really looks like a lupine not Calandrinia. The first true leaf looks palmate. Nice picture!

  3. Hi Barbara- Thank you!! Your sharp observation of that sneaky Lupine reminded me of my squirrel-like tendencies when setting out seed. I completely forgot that I put Lupines in that area of the yard! Exactly why I feel like I need this database.