Sweetgum – Copious Seeds
Q: Our sweetgum leaves are falling but the tree also rains tiny seeds. I thought only the gumball was the seed.
A: The gumball from a sweetgum is actually the seed pod. Each one contains dozens of seed, which fall copiously to the ground if they aren’t eaten by birds first. Like you, I have a sweetgum that rains seed in a light breeze. I feel really lucky that they don’t all germinate!
You may be interested to know that sweetgum seed contain shikimic acid, the starting ingredient for making antiviral drugs to combat bird flu.