What sort of seed pod is this?

My son found this floating in a stream in Massachusetts, in the northeastern US. It was intact when he found it, but he cracked it open to see what was inside. I did some Google image searching, but couldn't find anything. Any idea what it is, and where it came from?

It's actually not a seed pod, but rather a gall (see here or here for more info about galls). Specifically, it most likely is a gall belonging to the Oak Apple Gall Wasp (Amphibolips confluenta). You can read about this species and its gall here.

Attractive Seed Pod Plants: Growing Plants That Have Pretty Seeds

In the garden we plant colorful flowers and plants with different heights, colors and textures, but how about plants that have pretty seeds? Incorporating plants with attractive seed pods is as important as varying the size, shape and color of plants in the landscape. Read on to learn about plants with interesting seed pods.

Microbiological Safety of Sprouted Seeds

Mung bean production

Mung bean is an annual crop that is cultivated in temperate climates such as central China and central Australia. There have been moves to produce mung beans within Canada although the climatic conditions are less favorable. As described, mung beans are primarily produced for sprouting, although use as whole beans or flour is also undertaken. Unlike alfalfa seeds, mung beans are graded depending on the intended use, with those for sprout production being premium (i.e., low percentage of defects) and those for flour production being of lower quality.

Mung bean plants have a growth period of 90 to 120 days with quality beans being produced by judicious choice of variety, soil type, and planting rates. It is key to ensure an adequate supply of water and hence irrigation is frequently applied throughout the season. Harvesting of the seed pods is critical and must be synchronized to ensure at least 95% is at the correct state of maturity and moisture content (14–16%). The seed pods can be harvested mechanically, although in China (the major producer) the operation is performed by hand.

Amazing Close-Ups of Seeds

About an hour south of London, in Sussex, scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, are preparing seeds for storage. Researchers at 48 partner institutions in 16 countries collect seeds and send them to Kew, where the specimens are cleaned, dried for about a month and then stored for perpetuity in an underground vault, kept at a chilly -20 degrees Celsius. The Millennium Seed Bank, as it is called, was founded in 2000 as an effort to stock away viable seeds, now, should we need them to restore plant populations in the future. Nearly 100,000, or about one quarter, of the world’s plant species, are currently threatened. “We can’t afford to let these plants, and the potential they hold, die out,” says Kew, on its Web site.

The Millennium Seed Bank is a global seed garden of epic proportions. By 2010, the project had amassed about 10 percent of the world’s 400,000 plant species, and the trajectory is to reach 25 percent by 2020.

Wouldn’t you like to see it? The vault itself, of course, is hidden from the public eye. But, MSB’s seed morphologist Wolfgang Stuppy and visual artist Rob Kesseler have come up with a clever workaround.

Nyphoides peltata (Courtesy of Rob Kesseler, Wolfgang Stuppy and Papadakis Publisher)

In a new book, Seeds: Time Capsules of Life (Insight Editions), Stuppy tells the story of seeds and seed evolution with the extraordinary visual aid of Kesseler’s gorgeous images of specimens from the collection. To capture their exquisite structures, Kesseler takes seeds just millimeters in size and magnifies them tens and hundreds of times under a scanning electron microscope.

The seeds featured in the book represent the great diversity in the plant kingdom. Over 360 million years, seeds have evolved in both their form and function. Today, seeds range in size from the Seychelles nut, which weighs 44 pounds, to the miniscule seeds of wild orchids, where, in a single gram there can be two million. ”The smaller they are, the more intricate and crazy their surface patterns are,” says Stuppy. Seeds disperse by wind, water or by hitchhiking on animals, and they have the wings or barbs to do so. “We tried to take the most exciting examples that illustrate the way seeds have adapted to do their job,” adds Stuppy.

Scutellaria orientalis (Courtesy of Rob Kesseler, Wolfgang Stuppy and Papadakis Publisher)

As an artist, Kesseler has always been inspired by the natural world. He started working with microscopic plant material in the early 2000s, when he was a NESTA fellow at Kew. To create his scanning electron micrographs, he places an individual seed on an aluminum stub specimen mount, about the size of a dime. The seed is coated with a microfine layer of gold or platinum and put into a vacuum chamber, where it is bombarded with electron particles. The electron beam measures the seed’s surfaces and translates these measurements into a digital image.

“You can take a seed, measuring a millimeter, and make it look like a Volkswagon Beetle,” says Stuppy. The resulting picture is big, sharp and has a hyper-realistic quality. “You can’t do this with any other method,” he says.

Lamourouxia viscosa (Courtesy of Rob Kesseler, Wolfgang Stuppy and Papadakis Publisher)

In post-production, Kesseler cleans up the black-and-white images, pixel by pixel, with a graphic tablet and pen. Then, in Photoshop, he adds color. “People often ask, ‘Is that the real color?’” says Kesseler. ” And, I’ll say, ‘Well, no.’ But, I am introducing the color based on looking at the original plant—the flowers, the leaves.” In an image of a sand milkwort, for instance, he colors the main portion of the seed green and the funky tuft of hair at the top pink, to match the color of the flower it actually produces. He tends to highlight different functional characteristics of the seed by color in the process. “Plants use color to attract an audience of insect collaborators. I use it to attract an audience of humans,” says Kesseler.

Trichodesma africanum (Courtesy of Rob Kesseler, Wolfgang Stuppy and Papadakis Publisher)

Botanists, who have had scanning electron microscopes at their disposal for decades now, are familiar with the amazing shapes and ornamentations of seeds. But, Stuppy claims that Seeds is the first attempt of its kind to share this microscopic world with a wider public audience.

“The beauty comes first,” says Stuppy. “The fact that it is a seed is secondary.”

Kesseler agrees. “They have a disturbing sense of familiarity,” he says. The seeds are vaguely recognizable as some sort of life form. “But you are not quite sure,” he adds. “You respond to them visually, as an impact, and then you are drawn to ask, what is this?”

Crassula pellucida (Courtesy of Rob Kesseler, Wolfgang Stuppy and Papadakis Publisher)

If viewers are curious enough, the hope is that they will read about the plants. Then, once people learn about plant species on a deeper level, perhaps they will come to understand how profoundly important it is to save them. According to Kew, humans are the reason that many of the nearly 100,000 threatened plant species are in danger of extinction.

“If you want to achieve any change in the public, science alone can’t achieve that. You can tell people a lot about climate change rationally, they can grasp it. But, hardly anyone does anything,” says Stuppy. “Science goes for the head. The real change has to come from the heart. Art goes for the heart.”

How to Plant Iris Seeds

Remove the seeds from your harvested seed pods and store them in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant them. Picking and planting iris seeds can be done a few months apart, but it is also possible to store the seeds for years if you prefer.

Plant the seeds in autumn after the summer heat has cooled. In late October or early November, bring out the seeds. Select a bed with well-drained soil in full sun.

Cultivate the soil and remove all weeds in the bed where you will plant the irises. Press each seed about ¾ inch (2 cm.) deep and a few inches (6 –12 cm.) apart. Mark the area well and watch for the baby irises to grow in spring.

Step 2: Replating Orchid Seedlings (Flasking 2 of 3)

Transferring Seedlings Protocorms to New Flask

Replate Flask Ingredients (for Protocorm Like Bodies (PLB) Transplant)

  • 20g/L P668 – Phytotech Orchid Maintenance Media with Charcoal
  • 5g/L Sugar
  • 25g/L Banana *better if lightly green
  • 50g/L Potato – cooked (can be microwaved) then mashed
  • 3-5g/L Gelling Agent (or 8g agar)
  • 950ml/L Distilled Water

Instructions – How to Make Orchid Replate Media: Blend Potato and Banana with some distilled water. Like with the mother flask, add the agar to cold water, then mix all ingredients together. Check the pH – ideally the pH should be around 5.5-5.8. The P668 media is usually adjusted, but adding banana and potato can alter the desired pH. Adjust the pH if needed (citric acid for more acidity, baking soda to increase alkalinity). Once that is done bring the mix to boil. Then fill the flasks (1/4” deep) and autoclaved.

Replating From Mother Flask to New Replate Media

Replating Instructions

At the most basic level, your goal here is simple: move the green blobs from one flask to the next without introducing contamination. As you replate them you want to give the seedlings space in the new flask to give them room to grow. The video above will walk you through the details of the replating process but to get started make sure you have these items ready and your workspace setup:

  1. A small dish of peroxide (3%) with less than a drop of dish soap
  2. A small dish of bleach (25%)
  3. A spray bottle with bleach (20%)
  4. Tweasers and/or metal tools that have been sterilized with fire before starting work.

Replate Process: Place mother flasks and new flasks into the glovebox. Spray the outside of all flasks and tools with the bleach solution (20% bleach, water, & a drop of dish soap). This step is important for preventing contamination of both your replates and your mother flask, so be diligent and liberally spray the flasks paying special attention to the lid and rim. Let everything sit wet with the bleach water for 10 mins, the proceed with transferring the protocorms to the replate media.

For best results: after each tool is used for a replate, put it into the bleach solution for 30 seconds, then transfer it to the peroxide solution to rinse off the bleach. Then proceed with the next replate. Once all the replates are completed, leave them under lights for the next 12 hours which will neutralize any peroxide. As an aside: the purpose of the peroxide in this case isn’t for sterilization, but it ensure that you’re able to rinse the bleach off without re-infecting the tool if you were to use a bowl of water.

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What is germination?

Seed germination is the process in which the plant starts to grow, and the dispersion begins.

As mentioned previously, this process doesn't take place until the conditions are not the right ones to ensuring the survival of the plant.

This is why the seed can remain in a resting state until germination begins. The determining factors for germination are temperature and humidity. Light, on the other hand, would not be a determining factor in this process.

During germination, the seed begins to come out of the radicle and then enters the soil and begins to develop, becoming the roots of the future plant.

Then the cotyledons open and the hypocotyl, the future stem of the plant, begins to develop underneath. Then these cotyledons wither little by little, and new leaves sprout from the stem.

In the following video, you can see the process of sunflower seeds germination and growth (in time-lapse).

Mendel's Legacy

You might think that Mendel's discoveries would have made a big impact on science as soon as he made them, but you would be wrong. Why? Because Mendel's work was largely ignored. Mendel was far ahead of his time and working from a remote monastery. He had no reputation among the scientific community and limited previously published work. He also published his research in an obscure scientific journal. As a result, when Charles Darwin published his landmark book on evolution in 1869, although Mendel's work had been published just a few years earlier, Darwin was unaware of it. Consequently, Darwin knew nothing about Mendel's laws and didn&rsquot understand heredity. This made Darwin's arguments about evolution less convincing to many people.

Then, in 1900, three different European scientists &mdash named DeVries, Correns, and Tschermak &mdash independently arrived at Mendel's laws. All three had done experiments similar to Mendel's and come to the same conclusions that he had drawn several decades earlier. Only then was Mendel's work rediscovered and Mendel himself given the credit he was due. Although Mendel knew nothing about genes, which were discovered after his death, he is now considered the father of genetics.

What sort of seed pod is this? - Biology

Native to: India and Asia

The native range of rosary pea is India and parts of tropical Asia. It has been widely used throughout Florida's landscapes as an ornamental plant for many years. Rosary pea is highly toxic and can be fatal if ingested. In its native range, the roots are used to induce abortion and relieve abdominal discomfort. One of the most deadly plant toxins, abrin, is produced by rosary pea. Studies have shown that as little as 0.00015% of toxin per body weight will cause fatality in humans (a single seed). Birds appear to be unaffected by the deadly toxin as they readily disperse rosary pea seed. The seeds of this plant are so uniform in size and weight that they are used as standards in weight measurement as well as to make jewelry, including rosaries.

Species Characteristics

  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Habit: high-climbing, twining or trailing woody vine with slender herbaceous branches
  • Leaves: alternate, petioled, and even-pinnately compound, 2-5 inches long, with 5 to 15 pairs of oval to oblong leaflets less than 1" long
  • Flowers: pea-like flowers are small, pale, and white to violet to pink, densely clustered in leaf axils
  • Fruit: the seed pod is oblong, flat and truncate shaped, roughly 1 1/2 - 2 inches long and curls back when it opens
  • Seeds: 3 to 8 shiny, hard, brilliant red seeds
  • Distribution in Florida: central and south


Rosary pea is found throughout central and south Florida, and often invades undisturbed pinelands and hammocks. It also has a tendancy to invade distrurbed sites, such as pastures and roadsides. Though is lacks tendrils, rosary pea can grow over small trees and shrubs. It has a deep taproot, making it very difficult to remove. Fire encourages the growth of rosary pea.

Rosary pea is not recommended by UF/IFAS. Rosary pea is a prohibited plant according to the FDACS Florida Noxious Weed Index. The UF/IFAS Assessment lists rosary pea as prohibited and FLEPPC lists it as a Category l invasive species due to its ability to invade and displace native plant communities.

Control Methods

Regular monitoring and removal of plants can prevent the spread and establishment of rosary pea. Programs to educate homeowners on proper plant identification will also reduce the spread of this species. Native alternatives to rosary pea for use in home landscaping or natural areas include leather flower (Clematis crispa) or Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens).

Hand-pulling and removal of entire plants, particularly the roots, is practical for small infestations. Remove seed pods if possible and pull seedlings. Fire provides only temporary control.

Aggressive tillage is an option and very effective, but impractical in many areas.

There are no known biological control agents for rosary pea.

Timing of application is critical to effectiveness with applications in the fall prior to seed set being the most effective. Site must be revisited several times to pull seedlings.