ALPINE BELLS Cortusa matthioli
This relative of the Primula has tall stems of pinkish-purple flowers in spring. Cortusa matthioli (sometimes called Alpine bells) is a flowering plant native to the mountains of southern and eastern Europe, including the Alps and the Carpathians. Plants will self-seed readily.
Type: Hardy perennial
Height: 20-25cm, 10"
Location: part or part sun
Hardiness zones: 4-9
Seed size: Small
Seeds per pack: 10
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds on the surface of your growing medium, and water the seeds in. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature, and in a bright area (they require light), for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist.