Mystery Seed of the Week 217

mystery-seed-pods-217Our mystery seeds for this week come from pods like these.

mystery-seeds-217 Do you recognize what plant these seeds are from? If you choose to, please leave a comment with your ideas.

New mystery seeds and Seed of the Week answers are posted on Tuesdays.

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Seed of the Week: Sesame

I thought you might have seen our mystery seeds from last week decorating a bun or bagel. They were sesame seeds, Sesamum indicum.

Sesame plants are annuals that can grow to be four feet tall. They have white flowers and cylindrical seed pods.

Sesamum_indicum_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-129(Illustration in the public domain, from Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen)

Sesame has been grown in the Middle East for centuries, as well as being cultivated in India. It is known for being very drought tolerant.

Although sesame does grow in Arizona, I have not personally had any success yet, hence the lack of photographs. Sometimes it is simply a matter of finding the right planting time and remembering to get the seeds in the ground.

Have you ever grown sesame? When did you plant it?

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Bug of the Week: Damselfly

The timing of natural events, or “phenology,” is something worth noting.

damselfly-augustTake the pond damselfly in this photograph. These delicate, light-brown damselflies arrive each year in our yard in August and September.

damselfly-bestWe found them in August 2012 and

damselfly-wings-up-again in the September of 2011.

It is likely the adult emergence coincides with the summer rains we usually get in July and August. The humidity rises, plants start to grow again, and more insects of many kinds are active.

Interestingly, the brown damselflies we see each year are probably females because the males are often bright blue or violet.

What insects do you see at the same time year after year?

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