Trollius chinensis


Trollius is itself a beautiful plant. In particular, T. ledebour chinensis ‘Golden Queen’, which is a glorious shouty golden orange, regally crowned and standing majestically elegant in the mid border. The bonus with this plant is that it has brilliant seed pods when the time comes. Trollius spp are apparently ‘basal angiosperms’, meaning they were very early divergents into the flowering plant world.


When green, these seed structures make a lovely curio on the stem, as it dries the capsule becomes vaguely spikey and develops a mildly tacky sap, making me wonder if the plant is perhaps exozoic (seed helped to disperse via animal).


Intricately put together, these capsules house a couple hundred seed, 5-10 seed tucked into each folded bed, which when dry, spring open their ends allowing the black seed (a  millimeter or so long) to drop out. Easiest way to get them all out is to give the whole capsule a gentle squeeze whilst turning it between finger and thumb, into a nice brown bag of course. I’ve yet to sow this from saved seed, so can’t say for sure how tricky they might be. Generally, fresh seed seems to romp away compared to bought in seed. I will sow this October time and leave in a cold greenhouse for natural stratification. UPDATE: I sowed this in early November and just over a week later I have signs of germination, compared to last year where bought in seed rotted off after doing nothing, fresh is best!


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