seedheads in the meadow

The brilliant fall foliage for which the Blue Ridge is so well-known has run its course, but Nature, which never has an off season, has not been idle. In accordance with her plan, summer’s fading wildflowers have been transformed into a botanical realm of pods, papery seedcases, cones, and burrs dancing in the wind. The seeds will eventually find their way into the ground where they will germinate at the appropriate time, continuing the circle of life.

The clustered seeds of burdock provide food for many birds, as well as other animals including voles and mice.

These seedheads are fascinating, but I’m not sure of the plant species. Any ideas?

This weed, also unidentified, grew in a pile of topsoil – look out for those spikes!

The silky seed tufts of common milkweed rely on the wind to carry the seeds far from the host plant.

Monarda (the round seed heads), shown here mixed in with little bluestem and other native grasses, is a winter food source for birds and other wild critters.

These species, found in our meadow, represent only a few of the tremendous variety of seed heads that lend color, texture, and design to the fall landscape, while also providing a valuable winter food source for wildlife. Beauty abounds in every season – and I’ll be supplying pictures all along the way!


7 thoughts on “seedheads in the meadow

  1. Gorgeous! You’re right, the seedheads in the second picture are particularly amazing, and I have no idea what they are either…. Great pictures!

    • Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth. I’m planning on taking some time this winter to identify more of the plants and wildflowers on our farm. I have to say the grasses are the most difficult because they keep changing!

  2. Jo Ann: You amaze me with your wonderful knowledge of nature! You have inspired me to investigate what seed heads are around here – we have plenty of milk weeds in the wetland and I would like to know what else is here. Thanks for the inspiration! Much love, Margie

    • Thanks for letting me know that what I write about has inspired you, Margie – that means I’m achieving my goal! I hope that the weather cooperates during your visit so that you an Dan can see all the diversity we have here. xoxo

  3. The spiky seed head just opening to reveal the black seeds looks like our Datura (also called Thorn Apple. I’ve no idea if that grows on your side of the ocean, but if that is what it is (or indeed, if it’s a close relative) be careful as it’s really quite poisonous.

    • I think your identification of the spiky pod as datura is correct. I read that it grows in all the warm regions of the world, so it can grow here and the description of the stem, flower, seed pod, and seeds fits. I am going to destroy the seedpods so it doesn’t reproduce. Thanks for the ID!

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