In A Vase On Monday—Pods And Silky-tailed Seeds

Asclepias Peeking Above The Top Of The Vase

Asclepias Peeking Above The Top Of The Vase

Each Monday brings the chance join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

A month ago I collected three stems of Asclepias tuberosa to dry indoors. Each stem already had formed two or more seed pods 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) in length. Today I have featured the dried stems in a tall glass vase, visually anchoring them to the base with a few pieces of white sea glass.

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

Pods left on the plants outdoors continue to look fresh, but these began splitting open about a week ago, revealing copious silky-tailed seeds.

Ripened Asclepias tuberosa

Ripened Asclepias tuberosa

Silky-tails of Asclepias Seeds

Silky-tails of Asclepias Seeds

Asclepias seeds packed In tight rows inside the pod

Asclepias seeds packed In tight rows inside the pod

The vase is interesting in person, as it encourages one to move in and out and around the glass to observe the various stages of the cycle, to watch as the pods and seeds perform a dance of separation and escape.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Silky-tailed Seeds In A Vase On Monday

Silky-tailed Seeds In A Vase On Monday

Time is suspended. Not quite free the seeds linger patiently, gracefully, expecting a breeze at any moment to lift them away.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly flower addiction. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday and feel free to join in.

46 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday—Pods And Silky-tailed Seeds

  1. Christina

    Subtle and under-stated – it is fascinating; and you got to use the vase you wanted to use last week! I like it used like this to contain the arrangement within itself. Perfect. I had some Asclepias tuberosa but they didn’t survive a cold winter and I didn’t have any luck getting the seed to germinate.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. Glad you like it Christina–I was happy with how this turned out. I have been searching for ways to use this special vase so when these pods started opening I decided to pair them. Will you try Asclepias again? I planted bare-root plants a couple of years ago in three places, after my others died out. Mine don’t seem to last many years. Have not tried seeds before but now I can!

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Ann and thank you. I’m impossibly behind on comments but trying to catch up. Your recent paintings are intriguing and are inspiring me to pull some paints out too.

      Reply
  2. Cathy

    Definitely a work of art, and your writing was poetic in its movement around the vase and its contents. Thank you so much for this today – it reminds us to look at the concept of a vase in different and more unusual ways

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your feedback Cathy! I’ve been planning this vase for a while, but my imagination never matches reality. I had planned to mingle the pods with some sedum, but the sedum didn’t seem quite ready, forcing me to experiment at bit. I appreciate you hosting In A Vase On Monday– participating is a great experience.

      Reply
  3. Eliza Waters

    What a brilliant and innovative way to display these delightful seed pods! I’m awaiting the ripening of my A. tuberosa and A. carnata. I’m hoping to spread them in my fields. They are so tempting to pick for vases, but I want to wait until I have more plants. I will be happy with the dried empty pods in a month or so. 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Ricki or are you really Rickii? I’d love to know for sure. At any rate I appreciate your kind praise. This didn’t take long to put together but I enjoyed photographing it and sifting through the images for hours. Just really got swept up in those seeds.

      Reply
      1. rickii

        Oh, the rickii handle is kind of a joke. My friend who owns a nursery is so conditioned by her profession that she naturally adds an extra i when she types my name. It tickled my funny bone so I went with it. When it’s unaccompanied by that story it feels sort of pretentious, now that I think about it.

  4. Beth @ PlantPostings

    That is indeed beautiful. I so enjoy the silky softness of milkweed tails when they come out of the pod. I usually harvest mine and either give them away or replant them. I’ve had Swamp Milkweed and Whorled Milkweed seeds in the past, but this is the first year my Butterfly Weed has produced seedpods. They’re so pretty as they age with the season. Great idea for the vase meme!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Beth. I imagine the butterflies are delighted you grow several kinds of milkweed. Enjoy your seedpods on the Butterfly Weed–they’re just fascinating.

      Reply
  5. Cathy

    I love the way you have displayed these beautiful silky seeds Susie. A real nature study and work of art in one, and a great opportunity to share this process by placing them in a glass vase. Very inspiring!

    Reply

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