Many years ago a world-class medicinal herb seed collector sent me a small wax paper packet marked “Helichrysum italicum var. italicum” that became the basis for our growouts of Helichrysum seed. This was prior to the rise in popularity of this expensive and significant essential oil plant that acts like Arnica. Collecting Helichrysum seed is a complex endeavor and fraught with challenge. This is one of the only places worldwide to get the real deal. Tea hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa ) of red tea fame is another focus for us, and presents its own challenges in terms of seed collecting. Young plants provide the zingy fruit that makes the beverage, but it is a trick to obtain mature seed from them. Over the years I’ve learned the trick, and barring a fumbling of my hat, usually pull it off!
Frankly I’d rather smell Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) than just about anything else. It’s the herb that brought me into the business of saving medicinal herb seed diversity. I was drying hyssop tops for tincture and the seeds spilled out into my hand. Somehow I was hooked in that moment.
I know, I know, you think its not possible to grow Hops (Humulus lupulus) from seed, but that rumor is just a conspiracy to keep you from growing your own. I’ve done so in the last few years, am thoroughly satisfied with the hoppy results. I have piles of strobiles. We are one of the few places maintaining male and female plants for seed production. In these days of craft brewing the challenge is always to be unique. Growing your own hops varietal from our sturdy and demonstrably viable seeds is one way to go about it. Hop on!