Caribbean Drift Seeds
Tropical forests of the Caribbean, Mexico South and Central America are home to a wide variety of seeds, many of which are washed by heavy rains to the rivers and eventually into the sea where they drift to foreign shores, including the island of Nevis.
The most common drift seeds found on the shores of Nevis actually grow right on Nevis, like Firestones and Bay Beans, but the ones from far - away lands are most commonly of the genus Mucuna and Dioclea. They are found mostly on the southeastern shore, such as along Indiancastle Beach.
These drift seeds are often called "hamburger seeds" because of the hilum -- the dark center band where they were connected inside the pod – that make them look like a hamburger on a bun. The pods are produced by climbing woody vines (lianas) that grow in the tropical forest. These seed pods are covered with micro- scopic velvety hairs (trichomes) that can be extremely painful -- especially if they get into your eyes.
In the Caribbean and Central America, the hairs were stirred into honey or syrup as a remedy to expel intestinal parasites. The Mucuna have a thicker hilim than the Dioclea. In Spanish - speaking countries the seeds are often called “ojo de buey,” or bull-eyes, but in Nevis we might call them “donkey eyes” as we do the Firestones. We don’t find too many of these, and use them rarely in a special jewelry piece when we get the whim!