bitter melon, and they do, a little... except bitter melon are green and large and the mystery seedpods were woody and small. No go.
It's funny - sometimes if you wait long enough, the answer to an old question will just... appear.
On my morning walk yesterday I took a route that I hadn't been along for some months. I was halfway up a particularly vicious hill, bordered on one side by a patch of bushland. As there was no footpath and the side of the road was gravelly and rutted, I was watching where I put my feet. Suddenly, among the spiny lantana branchlets grabbing at my socks, I saw a woody seedpod. It had opened up into three parts, but I could see that it had five lobes, and a rough exterior texture like my mystery pods. I peered up at the tree above, a towering rainforest-y type with large leaves and a smooth, mottled trunk. Could it be?
|The mystery seedpod is as big as my hand... but what IS it?|
|The interior of the Queensland Maple (Flindersia brayleyana) seedpod has the most wonderful texture - silky and papery and yet somehow woody at the same time.|
Mystery solved. At last!