Cedar Cone "Roses"

I have a beautiful cedar tree.  A few weeks ago it started dropping  beautiful cones.  They look like wooden roses.  Really. Too bad I can't figure out a way to preserve them, but they fall apart to release the seeds.

Now, the problem is, these cones don't just open to drop seeds, they fall apart into crunchy little bits.  And every piece, every separate part of the cone contains two seeds! 

Notice the "wing" that allows the seed to travel by wind. 

These cone fragments are everywhere.  The seeds grow at the drop of a hat... uh...drop of the cone.  When only a few were falling I actually planted some, thinking they would be like most trees and take forever to grow, with very few germinating.  Not these.  They are sprouting everywhere!

The really are fascinating when the germinate.  But, they are germinating all over the yard!  In the herb garden, in the pea bed, in flower pots... anywhere they land.  They do not need to be buried in the soil.

Now, I know that I didn't have these cones last year. So, what's going on?  It turns out that "true cedars" produce male and female cones. The female cones are pollinated, the male cones fall (they are not big and messy!) while the female cones mature over two or three years. So, I was right, I didn't have this last year!  And I won't have it next year!  And hopefully not the year after! 


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