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Posts Tagged ‘Seed Pods’

It seems like every time I go out lately I run across an interesting or unusual seed pod. The following pictures are of pods I thought readers would also find interesting.

 

The pods above are from a Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) tree. When the seed pods are green the pulp on the inside is edible and very sweet, while the pulp of the very similar black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is toxic. One good way to tell the two trees apart is by the length of their seed pods; honey locust pods are much longer and may reach a foot in length, while black locust pods only grow to about 4-5 inches long. Beautiful white, fragrant flowers cover these trees in late spring. Locusts are legumes, in the pea family.

 

 The seed pods in the above photo are on a native trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) vine that is growing wild on an old chain link fence near here. Trumpet creeper vines have beautiful trumpet shaped orange, peach, yellow, or sometimes red flowers that hang from the branch tips in early summer. It is a favorite of Ruby Throated Hummingbirds and bumblebees, and in winter Goldfinches like to eat the seeds. If you see a red flowered trumpet creeper with very large flowers it is probably the Chinese variety (Campsis grandiflora.)

 

The photo above shows the long green seed pods of the Catalpa tree. This tree has very large heart shaped leaves and beautiful orchid like flowers in the spring. Trees will grow to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide, so they need a lot of space. Catalpas are also known as “cigar trees,” but when I was in grade school we always called them string bean trees. The seed pods can grow to 20 inches in length. Catalpa trees are in the same family (Bignoniaceae) as the trumpet creeper vine, above.

 

 The electric purple seed pod above has to take the prize for the best looking pod in the entire plant kingdom! I found this vine growing on an old board fence and spent a month or two trying to figure out what it was before finally identifying it as a purple hyacinth vine, which is in the pea family. This annual vine is easily grown from seed after all chances of frost have passed in the spring. It grows so fast that it can grow 20 feet before the first frost in the fall, and is covered with beautiful purple flowers all summer. Seeds can be found at any garden center. This one is on my “wish list” of plants I want to grow in 2012.

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