I saw this very unusual flower in my friends yard. He has no idea what it is and I've never seen anything like it. It was one of those "I have to have one" sights. He gave me some seeds but I would like to know what it is. Help anyone? I can only list a few characteristics I remember from seeing it growing last year. Here it goes:
1) Tree like plant that was about 6 feet tall
2) It had 1 flower on it (as it appeared), growing in the middle, about 4' to 5' from the ground.
3) The flower was a bright red, about 3" around and about 10" tall. It "appeared" to be solid, with many long thorns that looked dangerous but were soft.
4) When I was given the seeds, I was shocked at what I had and asked where these came from on the plant. He said it was the flower, which was derived from many pods growing tightly together, appearing to be one. The dried seeds are in individual, brown, prickly pods, about 1" in diameter.
5) I can't remember the leaves but the trunk was about 1-1/2" at the base.
6) The plant was about 3' in diameter and the leaves started about 3' from the ground, appearing as a little tree.
7) I asked him if he ever let them try to grow again the following year and he said he pulls them out every year because he was told they wouldn't but he never tried. He just re-plants a seed every year.
Growing in Pennsylvania, USA
Thanks in advance to anyone helping with this identification... Steve