Things are getting a little seedy and nutty around here ….

I don’t really have many pictures of flowers to share. The play seems to be winding up to the big finale: seeds, nuts and fruit.

This is what the pecan nuts look like mid-August. These pecans are reaching the end of the first state of kernel development called the water stage. The pecans have some heft. It you pierce the developing nuts through this stage water will pour out.

pecans in august
pecans in august

more after the break

The endosperm or watery stuff is like the yolk of an egg. It will feed and protect the embryo as it slowly grows to fill up the space.

Pecans are secretive and like to keep the real action hidden behind the scenes. You might think you are looking at the nuts in that photo but you are really just looking at the shuck. The shuck is a facade. Those ridges are seams that will first harden and then eventually split to reveal the nut inside. That will take another couple months.

Here’s another Texas icon:

eye searing peppers

And below is a picture of one of my favourite plants: the alamo vine. The seed pods are just as pretty as the flowers I think. Alamo vine is a perennial native to the Austin area.

alamo vine pod
alamo vine pod

I did not plant it; it just decided to grow in my yard along with some snail vine. Both vines tolerate shade and dry, heavy alkaline soil. This is sort of what the flowers looked like earlier in the season:

Merremia dissecta
photo by Melody Lytle

Alamo vine ought not be confused with the invasive bindweed though it can be aggressive and is considered invasive in some places. Aggressive is just what I need for my difficult conditions though.

And finally an empty seed pod from Pavonia lasiopetala, the rock rose.

rock rose mpty seed
Pavonia lasiopetala

10 thoughts on “Things are getting a little seedy and nutty around here ….

  1. i like the Alamo vines. Do the squirrels run away with all the pecan nuts, or are there so many that even squirrels have more than enough? I don’t have any nut-bearing plants, but the berries are ripening, and disappearing just as fast. This is even happening with berries that are not supposed to be palatable until after a hard frost (like cranberrybush viburnum).


    1. The squirrels do eat some pecan nuts but they usually go after the acorns from our oak first. People walking by can’t resist a handful here and there, too. =) Since it isn’t a commercial crop and we have FAR more than we could ever use sharing comes easily. I wonder if your berries are disappearing because you have an increase in birds? I never get berries to ever last. They always get gobbled up. The blue jays and mockingbirds are voracious.


  2. These are great. I think nuts and seeds and seed pods are elegant in their own way, especially when taking into consideration the promise they hold.

    That’s a new name to me – Alamo Vine. I mean I’ve seen it (probably anybody who has spent two days in Austin, has) but I never knew it to be separate from its more invasive and aggressive cousin, Bindweed. “Bindweed with the white flowers” is what I mistakenly called it. Live and learn!

    Is the Alamo Vine what you’ve got planted to combat the poison ivy by your fence? Has it worked? I’ve been battling recurrent PI in one particular bed all summer long. I’ll try to dig it out by the roots later (to at least slow it down a bit) but I have to wait for my sprinkler wire supervisor to be available, because I “might have” broken the wires close by before. Twice.


    1. Here’s a link for the alamo vine

      I should do an update on the PI situation. The alamo vines are all volunteers — gifts from birds and the wind I assume. I did plant some native potato to take on the poison ivy and its success has been mixed. It did sprout and shot up quickly and then just stalled out. When it got hot it was attacked badly by spider mites. HOW?! in this humidity? It takes a few years to reach maturity so the true test will be next spring to see if it comes up abundantly. On the other hand, the poison ivy did not creep forward. The peppervine was a total bust. Not one of the seeds germinated. Next year I think I will try stem cuttings.


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