I thought I would share something I sussed out recently in my garden. So there is a teeny-tiny, sweet, scraggy plant here, Priva lappulacea, which is commonly called Catstongue because its seed pods adhere like velcro to fur, clothes, even skin.
So then this recent conversation here made me consider these little pods more carefully. I always assumed each pod was filled with teeny-tiny seeds but I have never actually opened one.
And inside is like a teeny-tiny, little pepper looking thing. And it also sticks to skin, velcro style, because of the nubs!
I opened a few. All similiar but not identical, in the way that no two bell peppers are the same. So are these fruits? Or seedlings? I am not sure. (Maybe I take a teeny-tiny knife to one?)
Anyone else recently find out something new about a plant or animal that was already familiar to them?
I think the Priva pod you opened was actually inflated sepals, so the green thing inside should be the actual fruit. Try cutting one of those in half and see if you find seeds then. Priva is a neat plant – I’ll be interested to see what you find.
i’m learning new things almost every time i go observe nature, but here are some of the more unexpected things i’ve learned in the last few months:
in a case of convergent evolution at work, male tiger beetles and human men have surprisingly similar genitalia: https://youtube.com/shorts/olirGJ9CYcA, https://youtu.be/DXxO_sFmLl0
tadpoles have spiral intestines that look sort of like fingerprints on their bellies: https://youtube.com/shorts/TCok4zvfpKw
yellowjackets eat many things and will hunt spiders, i guess, but spiders will stand up to wasps: https://youtu.be/fqfOyECbceU
My sons are excitedly planning a photoshoot for tomorrow afternoon. My older son is charging his camera and will wield the exacto (he has a little boxed set of different blade shapes so he can splice for lighting) and my younger son has claimed the right to direct the action.
I am disallowed from either holding the camera or the knife as I lack grace and could fill a book with the against-the-odds accidents that have befallen me.
That said, prepare your expectations. These are so small I wonder if the exactos are too big.
You can compare this illustration from the New York Botanical Garden to what you find: https://www.nybg.org/bsci/french_guiana/epizoofig.html