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Word of the Week: Loment

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Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Loment [LOH-ment](botany noun): The seedpod of certain leguminous plants, constricted between each seed and breaking into one-seeded portions when ripe.

Fall is an exciting time to explore the wonderful world of seeds. So many different plants are preparing to naturally drop their seeds this season in order for them to overwinter, then germinate and bloom in the spring/summer of the next year. These seeds will also have their own preferred method of travel.

With its large pink and violet flowers, Showy Tick Trefoil is a beautiful plant that grows in the Black Oak Savannah of High Park. As with the other Tick Trefoils, this plant is well known for having loments that like to travel by clinging on to animal fur or clothing.

In late-summer, when the flowers are fertile, they will produce flat loments that have 3-5 jointed, slightly triangular shaped segments which are a bit curved on one side and sticky with barbed hairs. The barbed hairs are what allow the seeds to cling to animal fur or our clothing. They start off green in colour but will turn brown at maturity. The seeds in the loments will be dispersed while individually enclosed in their pod segment.

Keep an eye out for Showy Tick Trefoil seeds, sticking to your clothes, on your next visit to High Park!