I remember playing with gumballs from a gumball tree as a kid, but didn’t pay a lot of attention to their stages of development then. Have you ever looked at a gumball up close in all of its stages of development? They are very interesting. They go from being a small, yellowish-green gumball that is closed up and contains seeds, to a brown, hollow gumball.

The gumball, from the tree Liquidambar styraciflua, has 20 or more seed chambers each containing tiny seeds that look like insect wings.

The spikes on the outside of the gumball look like crocheting needles and I have heard that gumballs can be strung together and decorated to make Christmas decorations.

It is amazing, the details that can be found when looking at trees up close.