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Seeds That Plant Themselves (Video)

The filaree plant Erodium cicutarium uses two techniques to grow new plants. One is the explosive disperal of seeds up to half a meter away, and the other is self-burial. The seeds have helical bristles that twist or untwist based on humidity. The twisting motion can drill a seed into the ground.

Image Credit: inaturalist.org

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Read more: Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Nature & Wildlife

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25 comments

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2:04AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

thank you

11:21PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:25PM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

Wow, Cathleen, a bit paranoid, are you? It's not like these flowers are throwing 5-lb. spears laced with seeds on the tips at you. Never, in 7 decades of owning dogs and cats, have I ever heard of an issue of having a flower seed imbedded in a dog or cat's skin, either. Thistles, yes, but they are meant to do just that......propagate by becoming imbedded in a medium where they'll reproduce. I guess you shouldn't watch the Sci-Fi channel on TV.

11:55AM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

These seeds could burrow into fur or skin - potentially dangerous for dogs and other animals. I got pricked by a similar seed once and it had burrowed about 1/8" into my skin before I found it.

Also, before you posted this, did you try to find out if this is an invasive plant which should be avoided?

3:58AM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

simply beautiful love plant and flowers

5:58PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Very clever!

6:39AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Amazing. May I live slowly enough to appreciate miracles like this.

6:12AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Beautiful flowers! Thank you, plants are my weakness!

12:37AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Snapdragons also "self seed" and they have popped up in my driveway along the edge of my deck, several feet from where the snapdragons had been planted previously.

Another one that drops seeds after flowing is the shade loving perennial that looks like fuschias, and comes in various colors (can't think of the name offhand). They are found sold at almost all garden centers and catalogs. They're very easy to grow and harvest seeds from, since the flowers produce seeds just before drying up and fallng off.

Sunflowers also drop seeds, and I've found them growing out in my property many feet from where the seeds were put in bird feeders, so the birds probably dropped them, but who knows.

12:59PM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

Nice...

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