Will I EVER cease being utterly fascinated by this plant?

When LAST I was wandering about in the Teasels, there was much “not yet, not yet, not yet….” to be heard/seen/observed about the seeds in the seedheads.

I watched and watched and touched and ran my fingernail down the spines, watching for any heads (other than the center three of any given plant as per the previous blog) whose OUTER tentacles might yet be losing their green color.

Then I took ONE head and tapped it against my hand.

SEEDS!!!! It’s releasing SEEDS!

Foolish, foolish human that I am, I CUT that head and tossed it into a paperbag.

Whereupon I ‘heard’ the word: “Look.”

“S’cuse me?”


“Look?” So I pulled the seedhead out of the bag and I LOOKED.

still-green seeds in head


Foolish FOOLISH human.

There, in the chambers towards the BOTTOM of the head were GREEN seeds. Oh no.

They stood, they waited, they folded their autumn-drying leaves, WAITING for me to GET it.

“Oh my, DON’T cut the heads.” I thought, feeling VERY sheepish. I went to another head, bent it down gently and tapped it against the bag – a shower of ripe seeds. OK, NOW I get it.

From there I danced around the entire garden tapping ripe seedheads into the bag. The original seedhead was still in the bag, and next morning I twiddled it around in the bag and there was a new shower of seeds, but not ALL of them. My bad.

I looked at the pile of brown seeds in the bag and figured, it’s probably JUST ABOUT exactly enough to make a pint of tincture. I poured the seeds out of the bag into a pitcher planning to sort through, pick out any grass seeds I found (I had bumped into a grass stem while doing all that tapping). The grass seeds were very white and easy to remove with the tweezers, but, as with all things Teasel this year, THIS little project gave me a chance to inspect and puzzle and LEARN some more. Little grey squares. I’m seeing little grey squares that I don’t remember seeing in older seeds I’d gathered last year. I even poured all the seeds into a mesh sieve to get them out (?). Nothin’ doin’ they’re staying put.


I measure them out and the amount of seeds is PRECISELY what I use to make EXACTLY a pint of seed tincture (but of course) I pour the seeds into the pint jar, I pour in the vodka and even as I turned away, out of the corner of my eye I saw…MOVEMENT.

I spun around and just STARED for a moment before RUNNING for my camera. How many more “This is FASCINATING!!” can I do in a Teasel’s direction. It was like a liliputian lavalamp. Every seed was standing straight up, and either drifting UP or drifting DOWN, and all those little grey squares looked like tiny bubbles dancing around. I just couldn’t take my eyes off the jar. I have NEVER seen seeds act like this.

Ever armed with a chopstick, I stirred the whole thing and NOTHING would make those seeds point anywhere but up-and-down. Not ONE of them went sideways no matter how much I disturbed the liquid.

FRESH seeds! That’s what I’m looking at here, FRESH seeds! Heavy at the bottom. Of course! Those little grey squares are the little whoopdeedo’s that attach the flower TO the seed, that’s why they AREN’T in the gatherings of older seeds. Do I love what I do, or what?

Now THIS is going to be one jar I shall ENJOY shaking on a regular basis for the next six weeks.