By Wayne Hutchins
On a walk in the woods in the fall as leaves change color and flutter to the ground one can also see colorful seed of various trees, bushes and perennials. The four plants pictured have very colorful and distinctive seeds and all are native to North Carolina.
The buckeye seed is from the red buckeye, (Aesculas pavia) which is native to the eastern part of the coastal plain. The seed must be taken fresh and planted in moist soil. If seed dry out they will not germinate. One planted in the fall, by Christmas the root will grow six to twelve inches into the soil. The shoot will begin growth in the spring.
The southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) has a red fleshy covering around the seed and this covering should be removed before planting. To remove the seed cover soak the seed in water for two days or more until they become soft then the fleshy part can be removed. The seed can then be planted outside and should germinate the following spring.
American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), native in the piedmont and coastal plains, has fruit purple –pink clusters surrounding the stems. For seeds to germinate they must have a cold period. Plant in soil when seed begin to fall. Seedlings should appear the following spring.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphllum) has clusters of red berries maturing in the fall. The fleshy red part should be removed by soaking in water for 2 or 3 days. The seed then should be planted outside. The following spring most should have germinated.