Bursting Heart or Strawberry Bush
During my walk this morning, I came across this very unusual seed pod growing near a creek. It’s the first one like it that I’ve seen. With a little searching, I learned that it’s called a Bursting Heart, or Hearts-a-Bustin plant, for obvious reasons. It’s also called a Strawberry Bush, because the pods resemble the red fruit before they open.
The flower opens in the spring and is a greenish white with five small petals. Deer like to forage on the leaves in the summer, and the pods are called “Deer Ice Cream” because they are so liked by deer and other plant eating animals. The seeds are scattered by the animals who eat them, not by the wind or surface burrs.