I just pulled up a bunch of weeds in my yard yesterday and decided to take some pictures of them because they are so bizarre looking. The plant has a woody, rather fragile tap root and the plant sprawls out in all directions with pinnately compound leaves (each leaf has a stem off of which come several leaflets, like a fern), little yellow flowers and these green
seeds with spikes on them.
It is the seeds that take this plant over the top from "hey, that's a kind of cool looking weed, I think I'll let it live," to "WTF!!?? Tiny invaders from another planet are here to violate our housepets (and possibly explain the origins of Velcro)!"
There is an artist named Kathleen Dustin who creates purses and other decorative, functional objects from polymer clay in the style of strange seed pods and whatnot. She came to The Wooden Cow and gave a talk about her work. I need to send her these pictures because I totally need a purse like that seed. Don't you think? Nobody would f**k with me in line at the bank, that's for sure.
In fact, it reminds me of an illustration by Patrick Woodroffe that I have in a book somewhere... I think the one I was thinking of was from his book "Mythopoeikon" and is called "The Thorn Apple Tree." Here's a snapshot of it from my book.
It is a beautiful book, by the way. You can go buy a copy of this fantastic art book on Amazon here.