(Click to enlarge)
Our lovely tree has been in the garden for years. A native of Australia, the Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana is most attractive when the seed pods burst open to display strings of tiny pink pearls tightly packed into their husk.
As the strings mature, the seeds grow larger and turn red, to the delight of birds which come to feed on them.
But I've never seen two seed pods burst at once on this tree. The pods are the trunk end of the long green palm leaves, which eventually turn brown and die, ripping off the seed pod as they fall to the ground, exposing the new seeds.
This tree grew on its own from a seed fallen from a previous tree which was uprooted in a wind storm. Only after we cleared away the parent tree did we notice that a seed had rooted and was producing a new one!
The photos can best be seen when clicked to large size.
Here are some more photos taken in the garden today: