Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Explore Outdoors ~ Parachute Seeds

This is the season when trees drop walnuts and hickory nuts onto our road, and purple berry juice speckles our driveway. Tall roadside weeds with dandelion-like flowers are going to seed, sending dainty parachutes out to ride the least breeze.

Sometimes the parachute fibers hang on, reluctant to leave the safety of the seedhead. After all, where will they end up? They don't file flight plans and no one has given them a map. 

Look for plants producing parachute seeds in your neighborhood. 
  • What kinds of plants make these seeds?
  • Collect some parachute seeds from different kinds of plants and draw them. What do you notice?
  • How far do the seeds travel on a breath of air?
  • What do the fibers feel like?
  • What do the seeds and fibers look like under a magnifying lens?

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