Seeds dispersed by the wind must be light and small in order to be carried
by the wind. Plants have developed a number of different adaptations
either to help the seeds be released (very small light seeds) or to help the seeds stay in
the air for longer. This means they can be carried greater distances. Such adaptations
usually involve hairs or outgrowths which increase the surface area to catch the wind.
(e.g. Red Campion shown on right)
The flower ovary containing the seeds becomes a dry
hollow container with one or more openings. The containers are shaken by the wind,
scattering the seeds through the openings, dispersing them all around the immediate area.
(e.g. Ragwort on left)
Feathery hairs help the seed to float on the wind.They can often be
carried long distances in this way.
(e.g. Sycamore on right)
Wing-like outgrowths on the fruit (which contains the
seed) make it spin as it falls from the parent plant. This spinning delays its fall so
that the wind may carry it some distance away.
Seed Dispersal Home Page