Saturday, November 15, 2014

Exotic Seeds from Pia

Pia sent me three large pods from a tree that is in the same family as the mimosa tree.  I found out that it's called an elephant ear tree in some places, a monkey ear tree in others.  It's called guanacasta in Costa Rica, which means ear tree.  The shiny brown pods look like very large human ears, and the seeds are beautiful-- oval with dark oval centers surrounded by tan rings.  The seed packaging is intricate-- a translucent membrane seals each seed into a little chamber wherein it rattles around when the pod is mature and dry.   This is the national tree of Costa Rica, but in Florida, where it also grows, it's more or less a garbage tree.  The seeds can be ground into a flour that has 35% protein, which is three times the amount of protein in wheat flour.  The seeds are also used in jewelry-- I actually have a necklace made of these seeds. 
Pia also sent me a mojo-- the macuna sloanei seed shown at the top left.  This name means deer's eye in Spanish, and it is used to ward off the Evil Eye.  It looks like a nicely designed yoyo or a very tiny hamburger in a bun.  I read up on it a little and found out that it is tropical, easily dispersed by sea, hence one of its names:  Sea Bean.  The seed contains L-Dopa, and it could potentially be used medicinally but needs more research.  It comes in a pod with one other seed.

Below the Deer's Eye are some delonia regia seeds, also known as Royal Poinciana, native of Madagascar.  Not as elaborate as the mucuna sloanei but also shows up in jewelry, including another necklace that I have.  And on the right are a half-dozen persimmon seeds that Pia said came from a type of small persimmon.  These are NOT weather forecasting seeds, but very pretty.  I drew all of the seeds and pods life-size, so you can see these are hefty seeds. 

No comments:

Post a Comment