the beauty of sycamore seeds…


11/02/2011 by Sarah Ritchie

Sycamore seedsIn a far corner of Wainuiomata (a suburb of Wellington, New Zealand), there is a modest green space known as Richard Prouse Park.

Chilly river waters run through this park, and dotted along the river bank can be seen old, majestic, sycamore trees.

Each late summer/early autumn (about this time) – in the years that we lived opposite that park – my mother would take me to those sycamore trees to collect the seeds. Why? So we could throw them in the air, watching them twirl to the ground like plane propellors. It is a memory that has stayed with me my whole life.

If you’re searching for something to do with your kids, now’s the time to find that sycamore tree and create a memory loaded with fascination and wonder.

There is a lovely (super-short) video of sycamore seeds falling to the ground at Click here.

FYI: If you are not sure what kind of tree to look for, keep an eye out for the distinctive shape of the maple leaf – like on the Canadian flag – and tree bark that is is brown/green/cream and looks quite flakey. The mature trees are quite large. Once the ball-like fruit pods burst, the seeds come in bunches, so you really can’t miss them in season. The older, brown seeds make better propellors than the young, green, seeds. You can try throwing the seeds in their pairs, or splitting them in two.


One thought on “the beauty of sycamore seeds…

  1. Robert Batey says:

    I am here, and in Nottingham and think your site is not too hot… I want the information, not prevarication… I have trees and birds… 2 Whitebeams, a Cherry Tree, and the surrounding parks may contain Sycamores.. Confirm identity please.. Dont mess..

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Sarah Ritchie
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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
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