|Seedpods of Maryland Senna, Senna marilandica|
I had planted this species in the Creek Field restoration back in 2013, thanks to Jeff Hansen & the hand-picked wildflower seeds he made available through his business, Kansas Native Plants.
But the Creek Field isn't where I found this plant. I found it on the other side of the creek in the "Front 3," a 3-acre former hayfield where native plants battle the remnant brome.
|The long stem & curved pods of Maryland Senna|
show off against the dead leaves & new growth
of the persistent brome.
I had hand-planted the seeds myself. How had they traveled so far? Did they travel through the system of a seed-eating bird or mouse that deposited them here? Did they hitch a ride on a low-slung, furry badger?
And to think I was so busy with the Creek Field last summer and had such low expectations of the Front 3 that I completely missed this plant when it was in flower.
Luckily, it was impossible to miss the seedpods as I walked around the Front 3, preparing for a controlled burn in the next few days.
Now I'm wondering: Should I leave the seedpods where they are & see if fire stimulates them to germinate? But what if fire damages them? Better hedge my bet & bury some of the seeds here & replant some others once more in the Creek Field.
However, these are traveling seeds! They create their own itineraries, no matter what I do with them.
So you'd better believe I'll be looking everywhere for their gorgeous yellow blossoms come next summer.