Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky coffeetree: you've got to love these pods

They're big and they're coarse. No wonder I like 'em.

Someone brought a couple in so at lunch I played with them on my favorite backdrop, the lunch table. For years I coveted Decaisnea fargesii for it's bluer pods. Some day I'll grow it, but, as blue as it can get, I doubt if it can replace this in my heart.

There is a copse of Coffeetrees in the National Grove of State Trees. It was, not surprisingly, the state tree of Kentucky. Because it's functionally dioecious, you need a boy and a girl for fruit formation. According to the literature the early settlers of Kentucky did actually use the large seeds as coffee substitutes. Wow; two days in a row of culinary alternates. Odd.

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