Friday, July 9, 2010
Look at these for instance. I kinda take poppy seeds for granted. They're on all kinds of things, I don't look at them much, I just buy them out of a jar at Fred Meyer. But they are seeds, so on January 31st this year, I threw a bunch in a pot of dirt, and POOF! there were a zillion little green things all over the place. They took until June to bloom, and for this whole time I had a continuous source of novelty and small mystery. I'd look at 'em every week and think "Ooo! they got bigger!" or "Ooo! that one's putting up this tentacle-y thing! That must be how they bloom!" and lately it's been "I wonder if the seeds are done yet? What do those things look like inside?"
Well, now I know. They grow in there on these fleshy, spongy, vanes. If you pick the pods just before they're fully dry, the seeds are plump and brown when you dump them out, but they dry out and turn blue-gray in less than an hour. Or you can wait until the head is completely dessicated, and you can hear the seeds rustling around in there like sand. They make a lot of seeds. About a generous teaspoon per pod. Pretty cool, huh?