I wrote a few weeks ago about the seeds I was putting outside to stratify and then to (hopefully) germinate once we started warming up. I put them out early in February when it was only eight degrees outside. I piled some snow around the containers (we’d had an inch or two fall that morning), and we never had enough snow again to put around them for insulation. All in all, it’s been a warm and dry winter.
When Seed Starting is Getting Too Easy – Starting Natives and Perennials from Seed

On March 14, I decided to pop open the protective plastic containers to see if the pots were still moist or if they might need a little drink. They were still very moist and, much to my surprise, there was a little seedling in the pot of Whipple’s penstemon (Penstemon whippleanus)! “Hi!” it seemed to say to me.

Today I looked again, and the little Whipple’s penstemon has some company. It has been joined by a bottle gentian (Gentiana parryi), a few evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa), some Zinnia grandiflora, and a Palmer’s penstemon (Penstemon palmeri).They’re a little tricky to photograph, but here they are!(Prepare to be amazed…)
Penstemon whippleanus
penstemon_whippleanus.jpg

Gentiana parryi
gentian_parryi.jpg

Oenothera caespitosa
oenothera_caespitosa_seedling.jpg

Zinnia grandiflora (they really are there – look close!)
zinnia_grandiflora.jpg

Penstemon palmeri
penstemon_palmeri.jpg

**April 15 Update**

Here are some new photos of the seedlings about three weeks after the previous (terrible!) photos:
Penstemon whippleanus
pentstemonw-apr15.jpg

Gentiana parryi
gentian-apr15.jpg

Oenothera caespitosa
oenothera-apr15.jpg

Zinnia grandiflora
zinnia-apr15.jpg

Penstemon palmeri
penstemon-apr15.jpg

Echinacea tennesseensis
echinacea-apr15.jpg

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