Anise Root ( Osmorhiza longistylis )

Anise Root (Osmorhiza longistylis)

Flowers and fruit are only the beginning. In the seed lies the life and the future.
— Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930-1999), American author

While sitting on the patio this morning, sipping coffee and gleefully watching Chippy chipmunk scurry along the rails of our wood fence I decided I should make a picture of the anise root seeds I have been admiring for the past few days.

The anise root we planted last spring emerged this year, adding delicate white flowers to our woodland garden. Bees, beetles and flies were all attracted to the pollen and nectar offered by its blooms. Now, in late-June the small white petals have been replaced by bristly fruits.

The fruits, called schizocarps, are two-seeded fruit and their bristles aid in distribution by local fauna. Here, that might include opossums, skunks, chipmunks and gray squirrels - more recent visitors to our woodland habitat.

Jessica Allen explores the fields and forests of Pennsylvania with her artist-husband, Michael Allen, and their son, Benjamin. She shares her observations through words and pictures of everyday magic and beauty she sees in her world.