Seeds Move

Seed Dispersal

Have you ever wondered how there are plants everywhere you go? We know that plants cannot get up and move, so how do they do it?

The act of seeds leaving the parent plant is called seed dispersal. There are four different types of seed dispersal: wind, water, hitchhiker, and fleshy fruit. These dispersal methods are used to help transport seeds to different locations.

Click on the orange circle tabs under each title to learn more about seed dispersal!

Wind Dispersal

Dandelions are weeds that produce seeds with fibers that carry them in the wind.

Dandelions have many seeds, each of which has fibers to help them travel to new locations.

The fibers attached to the seed help carry the seeds. Without them, the seeds wouldn’t move very far from the parent plant.

Carries by the wind, seeds will normally travel a good distance and land in their new home.

When the seeds land, they will begin to grow as new dandelion plants.

image courtesy DandelionNewSeedling

Hitchhiker Dispersal

Grass burrs are common known weeds, and they are so common because their seeds have a great way of dispersing.

The seed pod of the grass burr have hook like structures attached, which helps in its dispersal. With the hooks, the seeds are better able to attach to something or someone.

These hook like structures are very sharp and will attach to animals fur, people shoes, and many other surfaces to be dispersed.

Attached to animals or people, grass burrs can be dispersed very widely.

Once these grass burrs get to their new home, they will grow and produce more seeds.

image courtesy SOILCROP.TAMU.EDU grassbur seedling

Water Dispersal

Palm trees produce a very special kind of seed – most commonly known as the coconut.

The seed of the coconut is actually very large and contains the food source of the fruit.

The coconut has a hollow seed, which allows it to be dispersed by water.

With their hollow centers, coconuts will be carried by water to travel to their new home.

When coconut seeds find new land, they will be buried and grow into palm trees.

Fleshy Fruit Dispersal

The oak tree produces seeds called acorns.

Acorns have a hard shell on the outside protecting the food source inside.

Acorns develop a food source similar to that of a pecan or walnut.

Animals like this squirrel gather acorns and travel with them, dispersing them in various locations.

Once the acorn has landed in a new spot after dispersal, it will begin to grow into a new plant.

Seeds Move Gallery:

Go through the pictures below to see which type of dispersal they are!