Sweetgum Fruits

Sweetgum fruits

The unmistakable dried seedpods of Liquidambar styriciflua on the ground in the West Park arboretum. Sweetgum is not native to our area—its range ends a little south of us—but it is so widely planted that it is one of our more common trees.

Seeds of Clematis terniflora

Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) produces great quantities of seeds, which accounts for the fact that we see it more and more in the wild, and that it has been tagged as an invasive species in some places. The seeds themselves are some of the most beautiful constructions in the world of seeds—they look like a school of tropical fish.

Clematis terniflora seeds

Autumn Clematis Seeds

Clematis terniflora seeds

The seeds of Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) look like little comets close up, or perhaps like tropical fish in a feeding frenzy.

Rose of Sharon Gone to Seed

Roses of Sharon produce flowers all through the summer and fall, and the flowers each produce a pod of seeds like this. Thus the bush spreads in the city. Its favorite habitat is along fences and among hedges, where the lawn mower won’t get it; in fact, it is very good at taking over entire hedges gradually, until the hedge is nothing but Rose of Sharon. To be fair to the plant, Rose of Sharon makes a very good hedge with very attractive flowers, so you may just want to let it take over.