Photowalk: 31 October 2016 - Additional
Learned quite by accident how Mexican Bird of Paradise seeds are dispersed. Probably the way many seeds are dispersed. There are two halves to each pod and during the Fall the matured seed pods dry out. Apparently at different rates of age. Then, just as ice cracks at its breaking point, so too, the seed pods split. The force of the seed pods splitting caused a violent break in between the two halves of the pod. This force ejects the seeds inside the pod away from the mother plant where they land, and if the conditions are right, new plants germinate. In addition to learning how seeds are dispersed, during my online research learned that there are similar looking plants that are often named "Mexican Bird of Paradise" and they are not.
Notice in particular the shapes and structure of the above foliage.
Above, notice along with the shape of the leaves, the greenish stamens. The above two images are Caesalpinia mexicana. This according to data "Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona, Pima County Cooperative Extension".
Below is an example of "Yellow" Bird of Paradise. This according to data compiled by the Master Gardeners at the University of Arizona in Pima County.
And a third species of the Caesalpinia flowering pea plant that I have often mistaken or interchanged is Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Which is actually known as the "Red" Bird of Paradise, below
Now back to seed dispersal which I was writing about while discovering the discrepancies in many of the articles I was sourching. So I went to the U of A directly. The seeds explode as illustrated below.
The reason I know of the explosive properties exhibited by the seed pods, is because I had these sitting on my stove range top inside my apartment to capture images. Was adjusting my camera for a different photo, and was standing about twenty-feet away, heard a quick snap (not too loud), and heard one half of the smaller seed pod hit the tiled floor in my kitchen. Here is an image,below, of what my original intention illustrates.
The seed pods were sitting there while I was about twenty-feet away when the Caesalpinia seed pod opened to disperse the seeds. Am missing the other seeds that were inside the smaller seed pod (there was still one seed stuck to the pod hull)... probably under the kitchen table or behind the stove. Can see the smaller seed pod nestled in the embrace of the larger seed pod. Those are all seeds I will germinate indoors in the coming weeks to transplant out of doors. Texas Mountain Laurel, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, and Tecoma Stans "Mayan Gold."
Have decided to contact the folks at the U of A to share my discovery about the pods.There is a telephone number to call on the FAQ page.