Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saga seeds,

Adenanthera pavonina Family : Leguminosae Common name : Coral Tree, Red Sandalwood, These little red seeds have heart shapes, so here they are for you, Cheryl.

We call them love seeds, and in Chinese, it is Hsaing Si Dou or lovesick bean. Children collect them and they look very pretty in a glass jar.

Among teenagers, if a boy gives you a saga seed, it means he loves you. If you don't want to reciprocate, you better not accept it. Alas for me, nobody had ever given me any, so I make my kids help me pick them.

If you are wondering where I found them, they were at Sentosa Islands, and also near to the hippos area of the Singapore Zoo.

They grow in pods, and disperse the seeds and leave behind this dry pod.

If you still can't find them, head to Terminal three of the Changi airport. They have a giant seed there. When I was in Singapore, the Singapore Science centre was asking visitors to donate seeds. I think they were aiming to collect one million seeds.

The Singapore Science Centre has probably the largest collection of saga seed in the world. It is displayed as an exhibit in the MATHEMAGIC Exhibition. The aim of this particular exhibit is to illustrate the magnitude of "one million" to the visitors. To date, some 300,000 saga seeds had been collected. More seeds are needed to fill the container. Help from the public is required to complete the collection of 1,00,000 saga seeds. Please sent your collection of saga seeds (irrespective of large or small number) to:

Saga Seeds Collection
Singapore Science Centre
Science Centre Road
Singapore 609081


The JR said...

Sounds like a million ways to show love! Neat project. We don't have those in this neck of the woods, hope they make their goal.....

Dar said...

I am always SO intrigued when I visit here. Looking back at previous entries, the Sibau fruit reminds me of the pomegranate but the seeds are eaten, Sibau is a very beautiful fruit. What does it taste like? Can you eat the bamboo leaf that wraps the zhungzi or is it discarded?
I have never heard of the hangi, but it sounds similar to a way of cooking done in Hawaii where the food is wrapped in foil and wet banana leaves, I believe, then wet burlap and covered with dirt and cooked many hours before displaying the meal. Very interesting heating the rocks...I would like to try this at my cabin firepit.
Finally, the HsaingSiDou seeds are very interesting. They sound praised by the community, the lovestick bean. I must tell my son of these as he will be visiting China soon.

Reader Wil said...

I love to read the various traditions of other peoples. I don't know if we have special traditions to show our love. Yes, letters and presents like poetrybooks or jewelry, but heartshaped seeds sounds so much more romantic.
Great post, Ann.

Serline said...

They should just go to Bishan Park. There are several large trees there, and especially after a heavy storm, you can find lots of 相思豆 on the ground...

Gledwood said...

Hi Ann!
Thank you v much for your comment... now a question: what on earth is going on in that top picture?! I cannot make it out!

ps have you any good recipes for Chinese curry? The Chinese takeaways here in the UK all do the most amazing curry ~ it is the same nearly everywhere you go so it can't be too difficult to make. But NOBODY has been able to give me a recipe for the Chinese-style curry sauce!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

The top photo is the dried pods where the saga seeds come from. I specially had that photo to show the pods.