I have to admit, prior to happening upon this beauty on a walk behind Camp Dularge about a month ago, I have neither seen nor heard of a tree like this.
Ms. Orchid must love the climate here, as the owner explained he had to cut it away from the house a couple years ago, and look how huge it has grown back. It is as tall as the chimney, see?
In due time, this seedpod will mature and then the seeds will burst forth and self-germinate in the soil below. It is my hope to get one of the seedlings from the ground before the owner plucks them all up.
Here is a maturing seedpod right near a flower. The blooming season is just about over, as there were only a few flowers left on the tree. I was surprised that there were only a few seedpods (maybe someone got there before me and took the ripe ones?), but I was able to pick two for our contest winners, Cynthia and Cammy.
Working on a new contest!