The Beauty and Wonder of Seeds

By Michael Wall,

The latter part of my working career, maybe the best part, was curating the extensive seed collections at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. My favorite activity? Opening up newly arrived 'packages' of seed. To me this was like being a little boy again on Christmas morning. These seed packages, other wise known as fruits, to the inquisitive reveal a thrilling diversity of nature. Often the seed packages themselves were the focus of my wonder and discovery. Most all seeds however are terribly small and while I could enjoy their tiny beauty through my dissecting scope they were often pretty much invisible or nondescript to the unaided human eye. With whom could I share this joy and exciting adventure I was on?

Fortunately I had the exceptionally good fortune of having a volunteer who, in addition to being a superguy, is also a talented photographer. During his time working with me John Macdonald developed photographic techniques and software skills which allowed him to capture and produce superb images of the seeds in the Garden's collection. I am happy to share here a small sampling of the fabulous images John has created. Each image can be opened on its own for closer viewing.  John also maintains his own website where you can view the many thousands of images in his collection at: 

John's photography and data base work is truly remarkable and a gift for generations to come.
If you are interested in exploring the beauty and diversity of California native plant seeds or need an image of native seeds, this is the place. 

Click on image below to bring up article and individual plant links.