A Flowers Ugly Step Sister; Seeds

Arlen Hill | 07 October, 2011

Well the summer never really got going and here we are in fall.  It seems like the seasons are a month off.  The plants that like a bit of warmth to push them to flush out massive amounts of growth are just now where they would be in the height of summer, while others just thrived in this weather.  While I was watering I noticed that things are actually very dry even though there were mostly cloudy days lately.

I am not ready for the rush to winterize while  somehow managing to sow seeds, make new beds to put them in and fit in time for potting plants.  This season a new cold frame was a must which was more of a pain to put up than one would imagine.  Try and screw into round metal pipe or have some wind added in.  With too much hassle and more time than originally anticipated we have a nice winter home for a few of the plants.  Even with the not so friendly weather this time of year I am actually working close with plants and feel really connected to their life cycle.

When I wander around the garden and nursery during the summer and fall I enjoy the anticipation of ripening seeds.
Gardeners in temperate regions tend to and enjoy their plants in the spring and summer.  This is when many plants are in peek bloom depending.  In the fall many of us do not think about the particulars of what a plant is doing at that time.  In temperate climates only a few plants are blooming since there will be little time for pollination and for the seeds to ripen before they are potentially destroyed by cold weather.  At this time many plants are in peek with their fruit and seed production.

Over millions of years plant reproduction has changed from cloning by division to sporing and then to wind blown pollination and cone producing plants to flowers.  Flowers have developed to attract people, insects, birds and animals to help pollinate.  What we tend to over look is that plants have developed just as elaborate lures and systems to disperse their seeds as they do for attracting a pollinator.  There are a few different genus that are particularly focused on what their seeds look like such as Sorbus, Smilacina, and Aralia.  After all isn't it texture and color that really matters? Among the many of my favorite plants noted for colorful seeds are these few which are pictured.  There are many more that are note worthy and my list continues to get longer.

Arisaema costatum
Streptopus sp.

Smilacina paniculata

Aralia racemosa

Coriaria arborea

Cornus kusa

Cornus kusa

Cornus stolonifera

Sorbus prattii

Sorbus 'Brigitta'

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Callicarpa japonica var. leucanthemum

Pernettya mucronata alba

Euonymus europaeus

Clerodendrum trichotomum