Tovara aka Painter's Palette ~ Polygonum Virginianum
Image by: wintersown
Tovara seed stalk. Beautiful Tovara is a must have in every shade garden. Its leaves are mottled with blotches of cream, light green, pink and maroon. Many of the leaves display a distinct maroon chevron. In mid to late summer the plant produces spikes of small scarlet flowers.
Seed collection is easy with some practice. Tovara also has the common name of jumpseed. Simply clasp the mature seeds at the base of the stalk and in an upwards motion strip them away from the plant. Caution is needed as the seeds are likely to fly in all directions as you remove them. Hold a small drinking cup closely under the hand you strip away the seeds with, keep the palm of the stripping hand closely held over the top of the cup, this way most of the seeds will strike your hand and drop down into the cup.
Mature Tovara seeds are maroon-red to russet-brown, about an 1/8" wide and slightly pointed at their ends. They will need to be air dried for about a week before packing.