Seedpods and other ephemera

Up and down our street the jacarandas are shedding seed pods and raining woody bits on carport roofs and cars parked on the street. If you stood at the start of the street two months ago, you would have seen parallel smudges of purple all the way to the end.

Today the flowers are almost nowhere to be seen and the tree tops are dripping with little brown discs that are hinged together at the stalk. When ready to release the seeds, they break up or dehisce as our Botany lecturer used to say and a mass of papery seeds fall out ever so gently, swaying to the ground below. If you think that I am being poetic without reason again, you are wrong! Plants always try and drop their seeds in different locations, either by making them winged like the sycamore or papery discs like the jacaranda.

Even hard seeds that are heavy come wrapped in fruit of some kind, so that birds eat them pulp and all, and then go off to do their business in various places across the suburbs. That way the plant makes sure that the seeds do not all land up taking the moisture and food that the parent needs. Clever, huh? Well, nature is actually a lot more clever than we think it is.

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