Cleome is a prolific self seeder. I gathered close to half a pound of seeds off of it last summer, and it still managed to populate the flower bed for the following year. It is beautiful, even though its flowers are a lot more subdued this year.

Here’s the drawback: the original plants were hybrids.
Most of the plant seeds that come in packets from growers are hybrids, and even though the plants they produce may be incredibly eager to propagate, their offspring will not come true from seed.

Last year this plant sported gigantic magenta inflorescences, color of which one can still see a sample at the center of the flower, but for the most part their color now shifted to a muted lavender.

If you are keen on collecting and planting seeds from your own garden, which I find extremely rewarding in more ways than one, I recommend checking if the variety you chose is an heirloom.

Annuals are the least likely to come true from seed, and in my experience, some of them, like petunias and impatiens, are not worth the trouble, when they are so readily available from growers, in every shape and color. Love in a mist, larkspur, lunaria, calendula and French mallow will return with fierce determination and they will be true to variety, for the most part.

Biennials and perennials fare a little better, but here are a few you should not expect to come true from seed: all but purple cone flowers, hellebores, hollyhocks, and lupines. I’m sure the list is much longer than that, it is actually easier to list the plants that do. The garden phlox will turn up reasonably close, as are betony, tickseed, Maltese Cross, sedums, sweet violets, Blue Eyed Mary, and some delphiniums.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: and, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.