This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"G. W. H.,"Belvi-dere, N. J., sends the following interesting note: "I enclose some fragments of the seed vessels of what we call Needle Grass, in Texas; grows on sandy land west of Colorado River. Will work their way through your clothes and scratch most unmercifully, and to sheep they are torture, pass-ing through the wool into the skin, forming pustules. One lamb began to lose his wool in consequence of the irritation. I finished it, leaving him with a bare skin. I found twenty pustules, none less in size than the largest pea, and all full of matter, each formed around one of these points. The seed appears to be at the point, so that there can be no failure of being carried off by whatever it is attached to.
"I wonder if there are any seeds that are not provided in some way by nature, with means of distribution?"
[This proves to be one of the Feather Grasses - Stipa sparta. As our correspondent well remarks, every seed has some method of distribution allotted to it, but the feathery awn of the Stipa is supposed to be the special agent in this case; and the barbed points, it has been suggested, are aids to let the point firmly into the ground. We should think that when a seed once gets fast in the flesh of a sheep, and could not get out till corruption had surrounded it, the ferment material would end the life of that seed. - Ed. G. M].