More Flutterer/Spinner Seed Photos
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Noteworthy Plants For February 1999

More Flutterer/Spinner Seed Photos

Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans), a lovely small tree or shrub in the Bignonia Family (Bignoniaceae). Like many members of this tropical family, the seeds have a thin, transparent, papery wing at each end and flutter through the air. They are produced in long, slender capsules. This species is native to tropical Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean region, and is the official flower of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This pink-flowered South American trumpet tree or pau d'arco (Tabebuia avellanedae), another member of the Bignonia Family (Bignoniaceae). This species is often listed as T. ipe in horticulture manuals. According to the New York Botanical Garden Encyclopedia of Horticulture Volume 10, 1982, it is also a synonym for T. impetiginosa. It is commonly grown in southern California for its showy clusters of pink blossoms. Each flower produces a long, slender, cigar-shaped seed capsule (bottom) containing numerous winged seeds. Like many other species of Tabebuia, the palmately compound leaves are divided into five leaflets. The powdered inner bark of some pink-flowered species of pau d'arco is sold as a popular immunostimulant herbal remedy.

Another species of trumpet tree (Tabebuia pallida) native to islands of the Caribbean region. This photo was taken by Mr. Wolffia along the east (windward) coast of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles. Unlike other species of Tabebuia with palmately compound leaves composed of 3-5 leaflets, this species typically has undivided simple leaves. Like other members of the Bignonia Family (Bignoniaceae), it produces seeds with papery wings at each end.

Violet trumpet vine (Clytostoma callistegioides), a climbing vine of the Bignonia Family (Bignoniaceae) native to South America. The prickly seed capsule releases numerous winged seeds which are dispersed by the wind.

An assortment of winged, one-seeded fruits (utricles) of saltbushes (Atriplex) from the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of the southwestern United States. Saltbushes belong to the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae). From left: (A) A. canescens, (B) A. confertifolia, (C) A. hymenelytra, (D) A. polycarpa and (E) A. parryi. The most notable wind-blown species is (A) A. canescens, appropriately named the 4-wing saltbush.

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