Euonymusamericanus
by Ali Berman
Categories: Beauty, Science.

Flowers, trees, green grass and warm weather generally soak up all the glory in the spring. But, any gardener knows that what goes into the ground can be just as beautiful as what comes up.

We’d like to share with you 8 of nature’s most beautiful seeds. Some are made all the more glorious by their whimsical seed pods, others by their bright colors, and some by their alien appearance.

Check out our picks below. And gardeners, if you think we’ve left out some particularly gorgeous seeds, please share in the comments.

Clematis

clematis seeds

When it comes to breathtaking seeds, the clematis, a genus of about 300 flowers, has to rank close to the top. This particular flower has white curly fluffy seeds. Others are yellow and wispy. One thing is clear. The seeds are just as beautiful as the flowers.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Roberto Verzo

Chinese Lantern

chinese lantern seed

The Physalis Alkekengi, also knows as the Chinese Lantern, Bladder cherry, Japanese lantern, or Winter cherry, is beloved by gardeners specifically for its bright orange fruit. The papery material surrounding the fruit, in this image, has decayed much like a leaf would in the autumn. They are often used for dried arrangements, and spread generously.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Obenson

Euonymus Americanus

magnolia seed

The Euonymus Americanus, more commonly known as the Strawberry Bush, Bursting Hearts or John Baptiste – Percival, as you can probably tell, is named after it’s beautiful red and pink coloring. The Strawberry Bush is an evergreen, and most impressively, once its seed pods burst open in the midsummer, it can scatter its seeds up to fifteen feet.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Steve Snodgrass

Magnolia

magnolia seeds

The Magnolia is an ancient species dating back to before bees were around to help with pollination. They are built to allow beetles to help pollinate them so their flowers are strong. Their seeds are a beautiful bright red color. However, with over 210 types of Magnolia plants, the flowers range in appearance. They were named after the French botonist Pierre Magnol.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Traveler’s Palm

traveller's palm seeds

Despite its name, the Traveller’s Palm is not actually a palm. It’s a member of the birds of paradise family and native to Madagascar. Hence its formal name Ravenala Madagascariensis. It’s called the Traveller’s Palm because its leaves catch rainwater and can be used  (by say a traveller) as drinking water in a pinch. The seeds have a bright blue husk which is why they made it on our list.

Photo Credit: Flickr/puuikibeach

Gomphocarpus Physocarpus

balloonplant, balloon cotton-bush, swan plant seeds
The Gomphocarpus, also known as the balloonplant, balloon cotton-bush or swan plant, is a member of the milkweed family. It originates from East Africa but is grown world wide as an ornamental plant. Looking at its delicate flowers, striking green spiked pods and the beautiful brown seeds inside, it’s not hard to understand why.

Photo Credit: Flickr/wallygrom

Lotus

lotus seeds

Lotus seed heads are much loved around the world for their unique and decorative appearance. Some say they resemble a watering can head. (I’d say an awesome alien colony from a sci-fi flick.) They are planted at the bottom of a pond, and then their leaves either float on the surface or extend above the water. The Lotus goes by many names like the Nelumbo Nucifera, Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus and Bean of India. Plus, the seeds, flowers, young leaves and roots are all suitable for eating.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Geranium

The Geranium’s flowers can be blue, pink, white or purple. The seeds are known for their unique way of spreading. A long column springs open to release the seeds and propels them outward. Its other name “cranesbill” comes from the fact that the curved column, before letting loose its seeds, looks like a crane. That, combined with their delicate fur-like texture, put them on our list.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

With so many plants to choose from, it’s difficult to make a definitive list of beautiful seeds. We’d love to hear from you and find out what seeds make you swoon in the springtime.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is a writer, teacher and activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Ali is also a fiction writer. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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