About Thimbleweed: Thimbleweed belongs to the anemone family, and can easily be recognized by its single, unique flower atop a long stem. The central cone of the flower, looking something like a green thimble, gives the plant its name. This plant prefers dry soil and open woods, often growing along trails or roads. Though Native Americans sometimes used the roots for medicinal purposes, today this plant's usual purpose is purely ornamental.
Thimbleweed Germination: Direct sow the seed on the surface of the soil in late fall or in the spring after the last frost. Germination takes place within 20-25 days at 65-70 degrees F. Thin or transplant seedlings to 12-15" apart. This plant grows best in full sun to partial shade and rather dry soil; it often grows naturally in sandy or rocky places.
Growing Thimbleweed Seeds: Once established, these plants require little care. After several years of growth, they can be divided in early spring. This plant attracts bees.
Harvesting Thimbleweed: The foliage of this plant can be toxic in large quantities, and is not recommended for medicinal use.
Saving Thimbleweed Seeds: After the flowers fade, the green cones will mature and begin to turn color. When the heads come easily loose from the stem and separate into cottony fluff, they should be harvested. Remove the seed heads in time to prevent the fluff from flying away on the wind. Spread the fluff out to dry completely, away from direct sunlight. Remove the stems and other debris, then store in a cool, dark place.
Detailed Thimbleweed Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Candle Anemone, Long-Fruited Thimbleweed Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer Height: 24-30 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 2a-8b Seeds Per Oz: 23,500 Produces a plant with deeply cut star shaped leaves, and 3/4" flowers with 5 white petal-like sepals and a central 1-2" green cone.