Category: Seed of the Week (Page 3 of 167)

Seed of the Week: Angel’s Trumpets

Our mystery seeds from last week were from a plant commonly called angel’s trumpets, Brugmansia sp.

angels-trumpets-plant

These large shrubs or small trees are originally from South America, although I admit that I have only seen them growing in greenhouses.

Brugmansia are called angel’s trumpets because of their extraordinarily large, hanging trumpet-shaped flowers. Plant breeding enthusiasts have developed beautiful hybrids and cultivars with flowers of many colors and shapes.

A relative of datura, all parts of these plants are toxic.

mystery-seed-255The photograph of the seeds from last week was by Klaus Beyer at PublicDomainPictures.net.

Have you ever grown this plant? What color were the flowers?

Mystery Seed of the Week 255

¬†Our seeds today don’t grow in the Southwest.

mystery-seed-255(Credit for public domain photograph will be given in the answer post.)

The plant is known for its spectacular flowers.

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

Mystery Seed answers and new Mystery Seeds are posted on Tuesdays.

Seed of the Week: Velvet and Chilean Mesquite

Kathy recognized our mystery seeds from last week were from a mesquite tree, Prosopis sp.

Several types of mesquite trees grow in Arizona. We’ve already covered the screwbean mesquite and the honey mesquite in previous posts. Today we’re going to take a look at the native velvet mesquite, Prosopis velutina, and the Chilean mesquite, Prosopis chilensis. We are covering them at the same time because, although there are differences between the two species, they hybridize and the exact parentage of any one tree may be difficult to figure out.

mesquite-tree-chilean-049The Chilean mesquite is fast growing in areas with irrigation.

mesquite-tree-chilean-045They have an open, spreading canopy, which is their appeal for landscapes. On the down side, the roots of Chilean mesquites are often shallow and the trees tend to tip over readily during storms.

velvet-mesquite-leaves-good086In contrast, the velvet mesquite has a deep tap root as well as more compact foliage. They tend to reach maturity more slowly, especially in areas without added water. In nature, velvet mesquites grow densely along desert rivers, forming what are called mesquite bosques.

mesquite-flowerThe flowers are yellow-green spikes, up to four inches long. Velvet mesquites flower in the spring.

Once pollinated, the seed pods begin to form.

mystery-seed-254Mesquite seeds can be difficult to see because they are encased in a tough pod and an internal case.

Prosopis_velutina_seeds(Public domain photograph of velvet mesquite seeds from Wikimedia)

Once the pods and cases are removed, the seeds are typical brown, shiny legumes.

The pods are consumed by a number of different animals, including coyotes. People also harvest the pods and grind them into a sweet flour for baking. The Desert Harvesters website is full of information about gathering the pods and processing mesquite flour, as well as information about the different species of mesquite.

Have you ever eaten foods made from mesquite flour? What is your favorite recipe?

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