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Seeds

Wind dispersal

To catch air currents and ride on the wind, wind-dispersed seeds can either be very light, such as dustlike orchid seeds, or have special shapes, such as parachutes, flutterers, helicoptors, cotton seeds, etc.

Use this device you can see how the wind-dispersal seeds work.
Parachutes: these seeds or single-seeded fruits (achenes) are attached to umbrella-like hair clusters at the top. The lightweight seeds can be dispersed by wind over long distances.

Each individual dandelion seed is attached to a parachute.
(Taraxacum officinale, Asteraceae)

The seed pod of a starfish flower.
(Stapelia, Apocynaceae)
Helicoptors: these seeds have a rigid wing on one side.

The winged seeds (enlarged) from a pine cone.
(Pine, Pinaceae)

Two winged seeds of a Japanese maple are joined at the base.
(Acer palmatum, Aceraceae)
Flutterers: these seeds have papery wings on two sides or surrounding them.

A leathery seed pod with a winged seeds showing.
(Jacaranda, Bignoniaceae)

Seeds of the Golden Trumpet Tree
(Tabebuia chrysotricha, Bignoniaceae)
Cotton seeds: these seeds are wrapped in cottonlike hairs.

Cotton seeds from an exploded Floss Silk Tree seed pod.
(Chorisia speciosa, Bombacaceae)

The puffy seeds of a cattail.
(Typha, Typhaceae)

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