This is the last in a series of posts I've written recently featuring a photo shoot of some of the country roads around Vicksburg. I love taking my cameras and just riding around stopping to capture whatever happens to catch my attention.
This delicate vine was gracing a barbed wire fence running beside a frontage road of I-20, between Edwards and Vicksburg.
As I passed it, I did a double take and turned around and went back to get a closer look (you can click on the photos to enlarge them, if you'd like to get a closer look, too).
Before I wrote this post, I searched Google images to try to find out what the vine is called and discovered that it is called "Balloon Vine." The scientific name is Cardiospermum halicacabum.
Cardiospermum translates to "heart seed" (I will talk more about this later), and the funny name halicacabum is Greek for "salt barrel," referring to the round fruit. They are also called "heart pea" or "love-in-a-puff." In Mexico they are called "frolitos," which means "little lanterns," which is what I thought of when I first saw them up close — little Chinese lanterns blowing in the breeze.
I love the delicate little tendrils, curling and wrapping around the fence, reaching for everything in their path.
As if the little "balloon lanterns" and tendrils weren't enough to make me smile, just look at these tiny flowers that were almost hidden from sight amongst the vines ...
But speaking of lagniappe the best was yet to be! Remember the "heart seeds" that I mentioned at the beginning of this post? Well, at the time I photographed the vines, I had no idea that inside those pretty little "balloons" there are supposed to be three tiny black seeds with white hearts that look like they were painted on them. The "hearts" are actually the scar that is the point of attachment for the seed to the fruit. I wish I had known about the seeds when I first discovered the vines, but, unfortunately, I didn't know about them until I read the article I found through Google.
If you are a regular visitor to Southern Lagniappe, you know that I'm not going to just forget about those little heart seeds without seeing them for myself. Some of the little white flowers may be open now, too. I plan to go back later today to check them out, and will feature "the rest of the story" in tomorrow's post. I hope you will join me.