Friday, September 30, 2011

Pollen Gathering: FAIL

This delicate Cypress Vine flower is not a good match for a big fat bumblebee, except for a brief rest. Hummingbirds can access nectar through its narrow tube and some did visit Block 832 this summer, also attracted by the red, pink and magenta flowers of Balsam, or Peruvian Impatiens.

It's time to collect seeds now. A developing Cypress Vine seed pod can be seen to the left of the flower above. When brown and dry, the pods yield large, black seeds.

The Balsam is a relative of Jewelweed, the orange flower that grows wild along local streams. The plants share an interesting mechanism for seed dispersal in that the pods of both explode to scatter their contents. A pinch on the tip of the pod can trigger the effect, to the delight of young naturalists.

I am so glad to be able to keep up my study and appreciation of plants while living in such an urban setting, just a few steps off Park & Seventh!


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