My wife’s uncle was a farmer for 50 years, mainly selling vegetables and flowers at the local farmers market. Through selective seed saving of cockscomb he produced a uniquely colored flower that has purple undertones. While I’m not a cockscomb expert by any measure, all of the others I’ve seen are red or orange.
Uncle Al died the summer of 2001. However he gave me some seeds, I think, the year before which makes them 10 years old. I grew some out in 2010 and they had a very high germination rate. I’m hoping to keeping this heirloom variety growing. I’m it calling “Albion” after the man that developed it. These seeds have been grown in S.E. Michigan for decades and do well in our climate.
However life being what it is I haven’t been able to grow this out again, I’m hoping at least some of the seeds are still viable. We will see what 2013 holds.