Cicer milkvetch seed pods.

I am fascinated by the black mature seed pods of Cicer milkvetch (syn. chickpea milkvetch, Astralagus cicer), an aggressively-spreading legume that was originally introduced to North America from Europe with the idea that it would serve as a good foraging and hay crop.  Cicer milkvetch is now naturalizing in many areas, and while the plant doesn’t have a provincial designation as of yet in the Alberta Weed Control Act, it is listed as one to watch on the Alberta Invasive Plant Council’s website (check out the fact sheet for cicer milkvetch here).   The black seed pods rattle loudly when you shake them, and supposedly contain large orange seeds (although I haven’t opened up any cases to confirm).   I think they would make interesting accents in a floral craft project.

I know many of you use plants in crafting and art – what types of projects do you like to make?   Do you gather plants from your garden, or forage for them in the wild?   

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Cicer milkvetch, West Campus Park, northwest Calgary

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Aggressive?  Who, me?

The last dregs of summer.

Well, like it or not, we’re down to the last dregs of summer.  But there is still so much beauty to behold!

The spiky seed pod of Scabiosa caucasica ‘Perfecta’ (pincushion flower) in my perennial bed…

The delicate, light-as-air seed head of Tragopogon dubius (common goat’s beard)…

The fading flowers of Gaillardia aristata (great blanketflower)…

The shiny hips from Rosa acicularis (prickly rose)…

The plump, juicy fruit of Ribes nigrum (black currant)…

The silky tassels of naturalized Clematis tangutica (yellow clematis)…

The seed pods of Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)…

The unmistakable legume seed pods of Thermopsis rhombifolia (buffalo bean)…

The bright purple blooms of wildflower Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue American-aster)…

The fruit of the sour cherry cultivar ‘Letouka’…

And, finally, a very welcome visitor enjoying a little late summer siesta on the bean plants in my shared community garden plot…

Enjoy the changing of the season!  What do you like most about this time of the year?