Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Milkweed vine pod

with 15 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

When I was on the power lines right-of-way west of Morado Circle on February 1st, I found not only the pods and seed-bearing fluff of an antelope-horns milkweed, but also a couple of hundred yards away the almost completely spent pod of a milkweed vine. I’d say it was most likely Matelea reticulata, one of whose striking green flowers you saw last October, and a backlit leaf of which you saw in November. This is the first time here that you’re getting a look at one of its pods.

This also marks the end of what what has become a six-part look at the dried-out remains of plants that have lasted on one long strip of ground through the latter part of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Next time we’ll spring back to spring.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2013 at 6:10 AM

15 Responses

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  1. Looking at all three pictures you’ve posted, I wouldn’t have guessed they were the same plant. Once again, I found the flower beautiful, but the seedpod is even more so!


    February 16, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    • One benefit of following plants through the seasons is getting to see their various stages, some of which are quite different from others. At the same time, some characteristics persist. In this species, the hairs on the vine from which the pod in today’s picture is seen growing match the hairs so evident in the photograph of the backlit leaf. Of course there’s no way to infer from the earlier stages that this plant would produce a fluff-bearing seed pod rather than a fruit of some very different kind. The pattern for producing pods must have been set in this botanical family a long time ago, well before this species began putting a pearly coating on the little structure at the center of its reticulated flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

  2. So dainty. Really pretty against the blue sky.


    February 16, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    • That was before a spell of overcast and drizzly weather here, but intermittent sunny days have returned, and spring is now the thing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM

  3. it is beautiful.


    February 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM

  4. Pure heaven for a seed lover! Thanks.


    February 16, 2013 at 1:19 PM

  5. A beautiful photo ! I love !


    February 16, 2013 at 2:34 PM

  6. This is an extaordinary photo. It is just beautiful against the sky.


    February 17, 2013 at 6:08 AM

  7. Encore une petite protection pour cette graine et elle pourra voler au vent librement dans ce ciel d’un bleu extraordinaire.
    belle journée à toi


    February 18, 2013 at 4:19 AM

  8. […] greenbrier, Smilax bona-nox, and mustang grape, Vitis mustangensis. Note also the spent pod of a milkweed vine, likely Matelea reticulata, in the upper […]

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