Seeing Seeds (2015)
Many seeds are small, but we should underestimate none of them. What they contain and do is huge, mysterious, and important. This book highlights representative seeds, fruits, and pods.
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Even after settling on five logical categories, I questioned some of the designated slots. Seed versatility is a given, and variations in form and function are legion.
But we can discern patterns and principles. These pages are but a glimpse into the complexities and quirks of plant life and its drive to reproduce and ensure its own continuation. Some seeds appear to follow a straightforward path.
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A flower is pollinated, petals fall off, and the ovary swells with ripening seeds. But even this sequence is a remarkable achievement when we examine the discernible steps. Other plants do things their own way. Horsetail spores literally dance into new growing locations. Wisteria pods, touch-me-nots, and okra catapult ripe seeds.
Most figs are parthenocarpic, and thus bypass sexual reproduction.
Children, Seeds and New Worlds Opening
Datura seeds poison you or take you out of your mind. Even teeny-tiny rose seeds are not simple structures; extracting them from rose hips and sowing them will never produce a plant like the parent. That different location is still on this planet, but the future is fragile and understanding is provisional. It is within our power to learn more about and participate in the diverse circle of life. Everything plants do or can do, every fruit or pod or loose seed, is connected to us and to all living things. There is no autonomy; nothing is entirely solitary.
To say we are co-evolutionary with seeds is to graze the edge of a mystery. A life force is embedded in everything, not just in seeds. On a mild autumn afternoon where I live in upstate New York, foliage was red, yellow, and orange; squirrels were collecting acorns; birds were alighting in the bushes and trees; and fluffy white clouds were scudding across the blue sky.
I had been invited to pick grapes for jelly. We sniffed the fragrant air as we approached the thickly growing vines on their groaning supports. We picked a couple of dusky purple grapes and popped them in our mouths. They were sweet, but the skins were tough. And, unlike store-bought ones, inside were small, slender tan seeds. We spit these into the grass. What are they, really? Autumn is the season of seeds, from acorns to grape seeds to windblown fluff from milkweed, goldenrod, and fireweed.
If no one eats a seed, does it automatically grow into a new plant next spring?
- SEEING SEEDS: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit.
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What is inside a seed? How does it all work? Does it all work, or is there a lot of wastefulness? These are good questions.
They evoke feelings of tranquillity, and recent research continues to prove that a walk in the woods is good for your mood. In his book, Hageneder introduces the reader to why trees throughout history have been considered sacred. Before buildings, religious rites and gatherings took place under the canopy of trees, and still today every continent has places where certain trees and groves are protected because they are considered sacrosanct.
The book features 50 different trees and offers wonderful information about cultural symbolism, healing properties and practical uses. Send your gardening questions to thegardencoachBANG gmail.
Seeing Seeds on Apple Books
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By Valerie Easton. Valerie Easton is a Seattle freelance writer. Reach her at valeaston comcast.