Thursday, February 9, 2017

Astragalus and Horse Chestnut

Beauty in Motion

Unfurling Astragalus membranaceus or (more recently) propinquus, Huáng Qí, milk vetch, Fabaceae

Ah, the immense joy, contentment, and appreciation I feel every time I walk by the trays of unfolding energy and hope. I dream of the healing power, the soil microbes, the special spot in the garden where these little beauties will find a home.

I looked at the seeds under a microscope, they are beautiful, diverse, flattish seeds with a minute, white-ish hilum in a deep marginal notch. They are like small speckled pebbles or a bird's egg, yellowish brown, leathery brown, grey, blackish, with dark irregular spots. They are slightly shiny, with a texture similar to tiny pitted leather, hard. Slow, mindful, meditative scarification paid off... I soaked them overnight in kelp-ish water. In my experience Astragalus suffers from damping off if not careful, tender care, gentle water.

Horse Chestnut or Buckeye, Aesculus hippocastanum, 
Sapindaceae, sub-family Hippocastanaceae.

Hello beautiful, happy Horse Chestnut!

I planted 3 walnut sized, smooth, dark brown with black seeds on 30 January 2017, they germinated and rose above the surface, 5 February 2017. These seeds were quick germinators, thank you Strictly Medicinal, you always have fresh, viable seeds!

 This is my second season growing Horse Chestnut from seed, I've started a little nursery, Paw Paw, Horse Chestnut, Maple, Oak, and this year Slippery Elm, fingers crossed!


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