Female Cycad plant in seed. Copyright 2018, Pamela Breitberg
A “nest” of seeds. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg
A non-palm, palm looking plant. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg
Leaves are large and prolific on each plant. They are palm-like, glossy and tightly arranged around a center single stalk. This is not a palm at all, but its own species, Cycad. This was near the Spanish Moss shown a few posts ago; so when looking at the center I was not certain whether the “fuzz” was fallen Moss or apart of the plant. It turns out the plant is a female (yes, there are separate female and male Cycads) with seed resting inside a fuzzy cushion.
This striking plant is a frequently found garden species in southern regions of the U.S. This one was in the Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Cycad has many names and a Japanese ancestry.
Formally it is known as Cycas revoluta (Syotetsu [Japanese ソテツ], sago palm, king sago, sago cycad, Japanese sago palm). Cycad means “curled back” referring to the leaves’ downward curve.
“Female plants produce a round, felt mass in the center of the leaf mass. Bright orange to yellow seeds mature on the female plant during mid-summer to fall.”
Fall mums in mass across from Lincoln Park, in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
While most perennials are going to seed a few new blooms brighten the landscape. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breirberg
Autumn brings a physical change in the weather and Midwest landscape. This week a nearby condominium replaced summer flowers with these hardy Mums. They are hardy officially but still considered as annuals in the Chicago area; they aren’t “hardy” enough for Lake Michigan’s winter temps. Other flowers are in their final bloom cycle as blossoms fade in color and turn to textured seed heads bringing a new element of design and pattern to the garden. During this time of change, pods begin bursting so that puffs of feathery seeds are dispersed in hopes of ensuring future generations. Among the fading petals and growing seeds there are some late bloomers adding perennial colors to the scene.
Embrace the changes in the season. Embrace changes that are natural. At this time of year, it’s easy for me to be reflective and to realize changes in my life and myself during the past year. Somehow this “end” of season time of year brings renewed energy and purpose to me. May you marvel and feel empowered from your own changes this past year. May you find energy and passion to be able to embrace changes in your life. May change be positive and meaningful for each of us.
I write all this realizing it’s a challenging time as we strive to come to terms with other’s choices and decisions. Other’s choices can make us feel dis empowered and hopeless. We always have a choice in how we react to others and their actions. The fact that we have our own power and choice is what keeps me optimistic.
Milkweed seed has been temporarily caught by a spiny seed-head. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Fading Hydrangea bloom; many collect dried flowers for their continued beauty. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Took a leisurely walk around South Pond in Chicago’s Lincoln Park; situated just south of the Zoo. The weather was remarkably warm for mid-November; in the upper 60s. FYI, winter is on the way tonight, just in time for Christmas/Thanksgiving parades. Many perennials continued their bloom while going to seed in preparation for dormant months ahead.
Jerusalem Artichoke still in bloom along the restored prairie surrounding South Pond in Lincoln Park. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg
Bloom and bud along Lincoln Park’s South Pond. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg
Yellow bouquet among the drying prairie grasses. Copyright 2016, Pamela Breitberg
Hardy Hydrangea’s were mostly going to seed as their colors faded to earthen colors; but one bloom still drew it’s own attention. Copyright 2016 Pamela Breitberg.