Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
How Plants Spread Seeds
This week Bill and Bob, my nephews, were doing a science project again.
Miss Pringle their class teacher at the Rocky Bay Primary School was explaining to them how many different types of seeds there were and how some of them had very ingenious (very clever) ways of spreading themselves about.
Seeds want to get away from their parents so that they have a space of their own to grow. lf they stay too close, they might not have enough light and water to grow properly.
This is what Bill and Bob learnt…
Some seeds just drop to the ground. lf the seed is quite heavy, for example a conker, it might roll away from the parent tree and this is especially likely to happen if it is on a slope. Sometimes the seeds are in something heavy like an apple; then the apple might roll away. Eventually the apple will rot but the seeds will be left to grow.
lf oak trees are growing on a hill, the spread of new trees will only be downhill, as the acorns they produce each year roll towards gravity; unless of course squirrels or jays take them uphill and bury them. These animals often try to store seeds, planning to eat them later, but then they forget where they planted some of them. The seeds then have the opportunity to grow.
Some seeds blow away in the wind. They have to be really light to travel a long way. They travel better on a dry day. Some of the seeds have extra bits on them that act as a sort of sail to catch the wind – this is called a wing. You can see a wing on an ash key or maple seed. Seeds like dandelions have little parachutes to catch the wind and take them a long distance away.
Some seeds get transported by animals. They have little hooks on them and attach themselves to animal fur like Velcro. Plants like burdock and geum have seeds like this.
Do you ever find spiky grass seeds caught up in your cat or dog’s fur when they come home from walking in the long grass?
Sometimes seeds are eaten by animals or even people and they are so tough that they pass through the animal and can be deposited many miles away. This happens with tomato, strawberry, blackberry and fig seeds.
Ants can carry seeds underground. Birds can transport them on their beaks or feet.
Birds are responsible for depositing mistletoe seeds on branches of trees where they root into the tree. The birds wipe their beaks on the bark and the sticky juice of the seed helps it to stick in place. Mistletoe needs to be up in a tree to grow. lt actually pushes it roots into the branch.
Some seeds are transported by water. One example would be water lily seeds. They fall into rivers or lakes and float away. Another example would be coconuts. Coconuts can even float across the sea and plant themselves in a different country far away.
The most spectacular way that seeds spread though, is through explosion and dispersal of seeds through force.
The seedpods, when ripe, dry out in the sun, twist round, buckle and pop open. This happens with flowers like sweet peas, broom (or gorse) and lupins. ln the explosion, seeds are thrown away from the parent plant and will find their own place to grow.
Of course people can collect seeds as well, and transport them further than nature ever could. Plant collectors have travelled the world for many years collecting plants and seeds to add to the variety of plants we have in our gardens and parks.
But seed collecting schemes can be quite local too.
A scheme was started in Leeds in 2013 whereby people could pay to park their car in town centre car parks with conkers instead of money. Each conker was worth 20p and four conkers would pay for one hour’s parking. The idea was to collect seeds to plant; the resulting trees were to eat the pollution that the cars parking there created.
Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bill: Why do gardeners hate weeds?
Bob: l don’t know. Why do gardeners hate weeds?
Bill: Because if you give weeds an inch, they’ll take a yard!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2008
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
Seeds start off when flowers are pollinated by insects or the wind
Some tree flowers are not so obvious (maple)
Two weeks later and the flowers have turned into the recognizable shape of maple seeds
Maple seeds growing through the summer
In the autumn they ripen ready to fall
This ornamental maple (Acer) has red seeds
Ash keys (seeds) ripening over the summer
Ash keys (seeds) in the following winter
Berries can be eaten by birds and the seeds inside will be transported to a different place
A beech nut inside its case
Silver birch seeds are really tiny
and because they have a wing each side of them can blow a long way in the wind
This is what they look like growing on a tree
This is a silver birch
A water lily
They say a gorse bush only flowers in the kissing season –
but it is in flower every month of the year!
Gorse flowering in the snow
A water lily pond
Ox eye daisies by the road side
This seed has planted itself in a pavement
These seeds have planted themselves in a gutter
These flowers have planted themselves at the side of a railway platform
These flowers have planted themselves between some sleepers
This buddleia has planted itself on a roof
This birch tree has planted itself on the side of a chimney
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
If you like tomatoes; you may even grow tomatoes in your own garden, and have loads of them to put into recipes – here is a recipe that Bill and Bob love.
They gave the recipe to Henry and he likes it too now.
Henry coming round to play with Bill and Bob at Primrose Cottage
It is quick and easy to do.
If you like fried tomatoes on toast or on fried bread, try sprinkling a little dried oregano over the tomatoes just before they are ready to take out of the pan in order to give them an extra zing.
If you don’t know what oregano tastes like – it is also known as the ‘pizza herb’.
If all this rain is getting you down, you might like to check out my updated joke Pinboard – (you will need quite a long time to read it all):
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Can you put these into order of size?
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO PRESS FLOWERS
THE TRADITIONAL METHOD
Collect flowers at their best. Use flat ones and trim the backs off to make them thinner – but not so much that they will fall apart.
Place them between layers of blotting paper and newspaper and put a weight on top like a heavy book.
Leave for about a month, and then they will be ready to make pictures with.
Marbled paper makes a good background. (Blog Post 24)
Or you could make a bookmark by placing them on card with a clear sticky-back plastic covering at the front.
You could use them to make greetings cards.
THE MODERN METHOD
Put your flowers between layers of blotting paper and two sheets of hardboard and hold everything together with rubber bands.
Microwave the package for two minutes and leave to cool.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2008
Quick Quiz Answers
From smallest to biggest:-
- sapling (a baby tree)