"Fishing" for Silk Floss Tree Seeds

Click on any photo to see an enlarged version.

image005 57.jpg image006 49.jpg image008 40.jpg
Francisco holding the “fishing" device invented by him. Rodrigo is trying desperately to catch whatever fall with a plastic bag, but most of the time he had to run after the silk floss with seeds. Needless to say, neighbors had a good laugh!!! Device details Francisco and Rodrigo
image010 33.jpg image015 18.jpg image017 17.jpg
There is silk floss scattered all over the grass. Unfortunately the seeds are not there anymore. Francisco's hair gives an idea of how windy it was. He was also very tired when we finished. This picture was taken by a neighbor who enjoyed “the show”. The fruit
image019 14.jpg image021 13.jpg image027 5.jpg
Internal silk protection Silk sphere opened to show the seed inside. And finally, the seed.

Constantino says, "Re getting the Floss Silk Tree seeds, it was a real pleasure for me and in fact, I enjoyed that odyssey just going with Francisco and Rodrigo. Besides they were very enthusiastic about collecting the seeds for you, and they did everything as a team. I just gave them only some advice re being careful when “fishing”, and youÕll understand why when you see the pictures. Of course I was not strong enough to hold the fishing device, and keep it on target against the wind.

We had no difficulties getting them, only a lot of fun, because, even though we have a lot of Palos Borrachos everywhere, itÕs not easy at all to collect the seeds, because even the least wind carries them very far away and even if they fall in the street they roll so fast that you cannot catch them. Maybe we could only in a totally no-wind day, that as you know we have not any more now.

When the “fruit” ripens it lets all the protecting hard shells fall down and the white floss-silk like mass inside the fruit shells remains there on the tree, but the wind moves it till it completely opens the inside with a lot of small spheres, also covered with that floss-silk tissue and a seed inside each individual sphere. So when the branch where the floss mass is bends to different sides, it lets all these individual spheres (about 4 to 5 cm diameter each) and they flew carried by the wind. If Francisco was able to cut those already opened floss silk masses, they fell down due to the heavier hard white but softer protection than the outside green shells, and immediately after falling down all the small spheres inside began to roll so fast that I could only get just 5 or 6 of them. (ItÕs not an excuse I still was weak, because not even Rodrigo could do it and he was the one to catch them, so both brothers began to laugh at me and my ridiculous tentative to catch some. In just a minute you just could see how they disappeared from your sight just rolling down the street, or sometimes not even touching the ground."