13 November 2010

What's this native pea? Have a guess?

I collected these seeds from a native pea that comes back every year from the previous year's seeds. I've never seen the flowers, only the seed heads. Until I remove them those little seed pods in my hand are collected into a sort of Chinese puzzle, each pod held up by the surrounding ones.
The leaves are finely toothed, grey-green and all together look like a little evergreen tree. They are softer than they look.
In this seed head, you can see that the individual pods have opened. I think it's beautiful. But what is it?

4 comments:

momomom said...

I can't figure out where you live but we don't have any native peas in the US (I think).

I believe that is a Mimosa pudica (Sensitive Plant).

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/9qcb_KmexQxY-FMGosZnpw

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_040711-0138_Mimosa_pudica.jpg

Martha said...

I live in northeast Oklahoma, near Tulsa, equal distances from MO, Arkansas, and Kansas.
Guess what? Your tip led me to the answer. It is a native wildflower called Prairie Mimosa or bundle flower.
In the pea family, Desmanthus illinoensis, provides protein to wildlive.
Here's a link
http://oklahomawildflowers.110mb.com/flower.php?id=51

Thank you so much for the lead!

momomom said...

Cool, I had fun searching for it and in the process found something that had eluded me 30 years ago, way pre-google time.

My dad used to send me interesting bits from nature in the mail. Once he sent this really odd seedpod that I had never been able to identify. Searching for your seed pod I stumbled into my long forgotten question's answer. It was a Screwbean Mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) seedpod.

I love google.

Martha said...

Well that's a crazy looking seedpod, too!
The Univ of Arizona has a page about that plant and it looks pea-like, too. And, is a family member like my wierd seedpod.

http://ag.arizona.edu/pima/gardening/aridplants/Prosopis_pubescens.html