Florida Sea Beans: Hamburger Beans, Sea Pearls, and More

Hamburger Beans

Hamburger Beans

Sea Purse

Sea Purse

Sea Pearls

Sea Pearls

Sea Pearls (Nickernuts) in Fresh Pod

Sea Pearls (Nickernuts) in Fresh Pod

Sea Almonds

Sea Almonds

Coin Vine Seeds

Coin Vine Seeds

Blister Pods

Blister Pods

Bristly Porcupine Seed

Bristly Porcupine Seed

African Oil Palm Seed

African Oil Palm Seed

Antidote Vine Seed

Antidote Vine Seed

Sea Coconuts

Sea Coconuts

Sea Coconuts in Pod

Sea Coconuts in Pod

Tropical Walnuts

Tropical Walnuts

Australian Pinecones

Australian Pinecones

Crabwood Seed Pod

Crabwood Seed Pod

Mahoe Seed

Mahoe Seed

Screw Pine Seed

Screw Pine Seed

Thorns and Protrusions of Tropical Trees

Thorns and Protrusions of Tropical Trees

Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts

Florida’s Atlantic coast is an excellent place to find sea beans, because the Gulf Stream carries the seeds north from the tropics.  One of my favorite sea beans is the hamburger bean – it looks just like a mini-hamburger!  The cute sea purse is also known as the saddle bean, and can be polished to make beautiful jewelry.  Sea Pearls are gray, and are used worldwide for medicine, jewelry, and as marbles.  The Sea Almond is one of our most common drift seeds; it is especially abundant in Fall.  The coin vine has seeds that resemble pennies.  The Blister Pod is bumpy because there are air pockets inside the bean.  The rare prickly porcupine seed is named for its spiny appearance.  African oil palm seeds are harvested from plantations in Costa Rica to produce cooking oil.  Antidote vine seeds are members of the squash family.  Sea coconuts are the size of golf balls and look like coconuts inside.  The mother palms grow in immense numbers at the mouth of the Amazon.  Tropical walnuts look very similar to our North American walnuts.  Australian pinecones are very tiny and can even drop locally from trees in Florida (the mother plant is not a pine, but a member of the casuarina family).  Crabwood seeds are especially distinctive for their triangular appearance.  Mahoe seeds are from trees in the hibiscus (mallow) family.  Screw pine seeds are sometimes used as a paintbrush.  Sometimes you can get lucky and find corky or hard thorns and protrusions from tropical trees in the sea wrack.  And sea hearts are always a favorite of everyone.  It is really fun to walk on the beach, because you never know what you will see!  Click on any of the above pictures to enlarge. 

More info on sea beans is at:  http://www.seabean.com/   An excellent guidebook on sea beans is “Sea-Beans from the Tropics:  A Collector’s Guide to Sea-Beans and Other Tropical Drift on Atlantic Shores” by Ed Perry IV and John V. Dennis, original print 2003.  An annual International Sea-Bean Symposium is held in Cocoa Beach, Florida, every October.  More info is at:  http://www.seabean.com/symposium/

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

2 Responses to Florida Sea Beans: Hamburger Beans, Sea Pearls, and More

  1. FeyGirl says:

    I used to collect some of these, wayyyyy out yonder in Micronesia. Talk about a lengthy trip. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: