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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Let's split

Splitting seed pod of Willow Herb

Willow herb (Epilobium ciliatum) has loculicidal fruit.  The fruit is a long, slender pod that contains the seeds.  Loculicidal means that the pod splits longitudinally (lengthwise), sort of like peeling a banana (according to Michelle).

["Locule" means "little place" in Latin.  In plants, it's a small compartment (a chamber within the ovary) that contains the seeds.]

Here are a few more views of this graceful arching seed pod and its symmetrical arrangement of seeds.

Note that each seed has a white hair-tuft to aid in dispersal by wind.

Here's the flower itself. On Bodega Head it's found in freshwater marshes and wet roadside ditches.

P.S.  Happy Solstice!

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