Good artichoke seeds left, right the quality I had in former years

This year I harvest artichoke seeds of a superior quality, compared to my normal harvest. The seeds are hard with a smooth surface, and of a darker shade than usual. Normally the germination of my artichoke seeds are very low, but still allowing to grow a few plants. From this years seeds I expect a much higher germination rate, as seeds are obviously better ripened. I also harvested more seeds than usual, a little more than 150 seeds of the best quality. The mother plant is the old danish Serridslevgaard, very rare and difficult to obtain, but every seed growing will be its own new variety. I expect a broad variation in the seedlings. Most of them will probably be inferior to their mother, but with some luck a few better plants might appear. The mother plant is in the elite when it comes to hardiness, many of the seedlings are likely to inherit this trace – but not all.

The inferior seeds to the right in the picture are of a lighter color. A nail on the surface of the seed shell let you feel the difference. Inferior seeds are not slippery like a ripe filbert nut, but gives resistance to moving the nail along the shell.

How come the artichoke seeds developed so well this year? I believe it’s due to the warm unusually dry late summer we had on Amager, my island.