Sunday, August 01, 2010

Seedpod sightings


Some were seen during a walk in the wild; some were seen during a brief visit to the assiduously cultivated local botanical gardens. Seedpods are kind of sad at this time of year, when you see the end of summer coming, but you’re not ready yet. I know that seedpods can develop all season along, but most of the time I deadhead, either to promote new blooms or simply to divert energy from seed production—as with lilies—into other areas. At the end of the season, I do often let them go. But not yet. I still have hopes.

Sometimes, the seedhead is just as cool—or way cooler—than the flower. That’s certainly the case with Gomphocarpus/Asclepias (I’ve seen both names) physocarpa, which was looking amazing at the Gardens today. It's a type of milkweed that’s also commonly known as swan milkweed or balloon plant. Or, for obvious reasons, hairy balls. I’d have to grow this from seed (which pretty much guarantees failure for me), but I’d really like to try sometime. Maybe next season.


These seedpods (above) were spotted during a walk in a lakeside state park. I am sure many of you know what they are—they look vaguely sinister, but sorta cool. (After I posted this, a Facebook friend informed me that they are the common asclepias, which I ought to have known. Oops!)

5 comments:

Greensparrow said...

They are milkweed pods -- Asclepia I-don't-know-what-specia. Pretty soon, they'll split open and pump out huge quantities of white fluff.

FaithieP said...

I loved playing with those milkweed pods as a kid!

Kimberly said...

Yes, milkweed. I had this plant in my garden...probably a gift from a bird at some point. Anyway, I had to pull it up because my son is so allergic. I think they're so cool!

Donna said...

I too recognized the milkweed from my youth. They were fun to pop all over the place. Tis the time of year for seedpods. They are so interesting in texture and form in the garden. Love the first image.

Jean said...

The milkweed genus seems to have a whole slew of odd seedpods in their arsenal. Those are cool.