On the Wind: Plant Seed Dispersal

November 30, 2022


Photographer: Menashe Davidson

Summary Author: Menashe Davidson: 

Seed dispersal is an adaptive mechanism in all seed-bearing plants, participating in the movement or transport of seeds away from their parent plant to ensure the germination and survival of at least some of their seeds. It can take many forms, yet most dispersal mechanisms fall within the categories of gravity, wind, water, and animal dispersal. Species that use wind dispersal have a windsail-like structure, called the "pappus," that generally opens and closes in response to moisture. On dry, windy days the pappus opens, catches the wind, and transports the seeds far away.

Shown in the collage above are images of seeds, and pappus, of 4 different species of plants, from different habitats. All of them have the same purpose – to transport the seeds far away from the mother plant.

  1. Nerium oleander - Oleander, Bush, Public area, taken January 2016
  2. Adenium obesum - Desert rose, Ornamental, Home-garden, taken January 2019
  3. Stephanotis floribunda - Madagascar Jazmin, Ornamental climber, Home-garden, taken June 2022
  4. Araujia sericifera - Moth plant, Invasive vine, Citrus plantation, taken August 2017

Click here to see a video of Gone with the Wind, taken from my home garden in Rishon Le Zion, Israel.


Rishon Le Zion, Israel Coordinates: 31.9730, 34.7925 

Related Links:

Wind Doesn't Break a Tree that Bends

The Hidden Beauty of Seeds and Fruits