A desert willow pod releasing its seeds
The desert willow tree, Chilopsis linearis, produces long, narrow pods that are initially green, as you saw last time, but that turn brown when sufficiently dry and split open to release the seeds inside. Notice the seeds’ silky fringes, which with the addition of wind let the seeds land farther from the tree than they otherwise would.
I photographed this desert willow on an August 30 visit to the restored prairie at what used to be Austin’s Mueller Airport.
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman