Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pods and seeds

Even though Rattlebox (Crotalaria spectabilis) is a weed in our part of the world, I can't help but have some appreciation for it.

Native to India, this yell0w-flowering plant becomes covered with intriging, bladder-like pods this time of year. It grows along the side of the road or in areas that have been disturbed. It is important to note that Rattlebox is very poisonous to livestock and should be removed from grazing pastures.
Each young seed is attached to the pod by its own little umbilical cord.

Once the seeds mature, they harden and release from the inflated outer pod. These seeds shake around in the dried pod, hence the name Rattlebox.

Aren't the seeds unbelievable? To think that for years, I have walked by this plant without looking inside these pods. These seeds are beautiful enough to be made into jewelry. Spectabilis, indeed.
I finished the day with another podded plant, Okra. My friend Cindy (from Las Vegas!) introduced me to roasted Okra. As with any other vegetable, just toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cook under the broiler. When the pods begin to brown and split (exposing the seeds), they are ready. I crave this.


  1. Rattlebox has always fascinated me this time of year. The way those pods hang from the plant, moving in a breeze. Great post!

  2. I will have to try roasted okra! I didn't know about rattlebox. I'm sure I have it around. I will be on the lookout!



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