Collecting Samaras

Samaras [seeds] are beginning to appear on the Japanese Maples at Wildwood Farm.  They typically hang underneath clusters of leaves in groups of three or four.  Shaped like wings to fly far from the tree when released, they also catch the breeze while they're connected to the maple.  Since they are slightly translucent, Samaras can create a shimmering effect in a garden.

On the red seedling maple tree to the left, they add brightness to the deep purple foliage.  Green maples, especially cascading dissectums,  that have red samaras are most outstanding.  The contrast adds a new dimension to the plant and its presence in the garden.

Ric harvested hundreds of samaras to hand out as party favors for our Sunday Birthday Party.  No one really knows what type of maple they will produce.  Most of the time the new tree looks like other seedlings.  Sometimes, the seed produces a completely new tree!