My plant has produced over 45 blooms this season. There are pods formed near the roots. Are these seed pods? Will they give me more plants or how do I get new plants? Any info would be appreciated
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your interesting question. I think we may have a confusion between two plants that look very similar. If you send a photograph to the Toronto Master Gardeners, this could be clarified.
The commonly called Himalayan Dandelion, Taraxacum candidatum, is a member of the genus Taraxacum, of the family Asteraceae, which includes the species called dandelions. Dandelions are found all over the world; more than 150 species of dandelions in the Himalayan area alone. They are perennial plants, generally with short stems, with simple or lobed leaves forming a basal rosette. The plant has very dense flowerheads with a ray of florets. They are typically open in the daytime and close at night. They propagate like all dandelions by their ball of seeds spread by the wind. Here is a link to a description of White Himalayan Dandelion: (White Himalayan Dandelion
There has been some confusion between the Himalayan Dandelion and Oenothera triloba Nutt, commonly called the Stemless Evening Primrose. The way to distinguish the two plants is that the primrose only has four petals (white or yellow), and only opens at sunset. Since the Evening Primrose develops its flower from the centre of its leaves, it can leave a very weird looking seed pod. This may be what you have mentioned in your question. For a picture of this seedpod, see this website from the Fort Worth Botanic Garden: picture of stemless evening primrose
So I think that there is a reasonable chance that your plant may be the Evening Primrose and not the Himalayan Dandelion. If I am right, the evening primrose is really easy to propagate from seed; easy enough for this pretty little flower to be found all over the world, but usually in warmer climes. It is a winter annual or biennial found on roadsides, railway tracks and waste places especially on light-sandy or gravely soils. It may also be a weed of meadows, pastures, vineyards, fruit crops and neglected fields.
Toronto is in the northern most area of the Evening Primrose’s natural area, so self seeding outdoors may be a bit difficult. Break open the seedpod and collect the seed. Sow them quite deep in potting soil (four times the depth of the size of the seed) indoors in January or February, and plant the seedlings outside when it is warm.
For more information, you could go to: Evening Primrose. A more thorough academic article on the Evening Primrose can be found at: https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/sites/www.gardenorganic.org.uk/files/organic-weeds/oenothera-spp.pdf