Hundreds of windblown puffballs stuck to a stretch of fence along Palm Beach Boulevard suggest a truckload of pillows exploded in a vehicle crash nearby.
A closer look reveals a black seed within each puff.
After sharing Lynne Cherry’s The Great Kapok Tree and discussing rainforest conservation with third graders year after year, the new neighbor meets this Central American wonder in person.
Ceiba pentandra and Abrus precatorius
Whether Latrodectus or Micrurus, some red flags are more duotone. This one’s popping in the backyard.
In the words of Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants, “The poison at work within rosary peas is abrin, which is similar to ricin, found in castor beans. Abrin attaches itself to cell membranes and prevents cells from making protein, which kills them.” Stay away.
Antigua locals call this tree “chuk chuk” due to the sound the seed pod makes when used as a rhythmic musical instrument.
Lawsonia inermis (henna)