Today, we are doing the humble Daucus carota, Wild Carrot, or Queen Anne's Lace. Its familiar lacy white flowers can cheer almost any roadside. This picture is from 2018, but it will remind you, if you've forgotten what this is.
When the flower heads begin to dry, they often curl up like this, resulting in another common name of Bird's Nest. This picture is from 2017. I've seen some truly beautiful photos of the plant at this stage.
They don't always curl up. Some stay almost flat. This one seems to have struck a happy medium, remaining in an open cone.
If you look closer, you can begin to see the crowded seed pods, each with a whole lot of spikey legs.
I teased a few out. I don't have a good surface on which to take closeup pictures yet. I'll have to figure out what a good choice would be. Do they look like a millipede? Maybe they are like a sunflower seed with spikes? They look very much like the nasty things in Alien that attached to people's faces. But these are quite small. One thing I need to do is include a ruler in the picture for scale.
I've never had much luck taking pictures through my microscope, but today I tried doing that with the cell phone. It's not ideal, but it actually did work. Not sharp focus, but better than nothing. I tried to tease one of these open, but all I got was a mess. Even so, this is only the seed pod. When it's fully ripe, there will be a seed inside. Maybe after it dries even more, I can get one opened up without destroying it.
Despite all the litte projections, these don't grab your socks or sweaters as tightly as some seedpods do, and they are mostly spread when the seedheads break off the plants and are rolled by the wind like little tumbleweeds.
In other news: I walked to the post office, and worked on my notes for Dead Mule Swamp Singer.
|See Seed Pods of Interest|