Mystery Seed of the Week 194: Challenge 3

As a run up to our 200th Mystery Seed, we are doing few new challenges as a contest.  The idea of the challenges will be to introduce some real world reasons why someone might need to identify seeds.

Challenge 3.

Scenario:  A crime has been committed in Pennsylvania and the police trace the truck to Phoenix, Arizona. The owner swears his truck has never left Phoenix. You are the investigator and you spot this in the pick up bed:


What does the information in the photograph above tell you?

Edit: This week the first person to correctly identify the “seed” in a comment gets 5 points and the first person to explain what it means in the comments gets 5 points. Further correct answers receive 2 points each. Good luck!

Challenge 3 is now closed. The answer is now posted.

Only 5 more challenges to go.


Answer to challenge 1:

Challenge 1 is now closed. The seeds with the fringes were from a brittlebush, Encelia farinosa. Thank you to everyone who participated.

The answers to challenge 2 will be revealed next week.

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


  1. sara

    I try to do your seed challenges without looking things up. So, I’m going with: that’s a shagbark hickory nut, and they are east coast trees, never growing in Phoenix, or anywhere in Arizona.

  2. Anna

    I think Sara has the correct answer. I live in Connecticut now with a shagbark hickory outside, and are still trying to fingered out all the Eastern trees since I grew up in AZ.

  3. Roberta

    It has been a challenge for me to come up with challenges that aren’t just local plants. 🙂

  4. Craig

    Hickory (Carya sp.), the truck must have left Arizona because Carya only occurs in eastern states.

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