Friday, January 28, 2011

Velcro Trees

A lesson in seed dispersal disguised itself as a fun game of lobbing sticky seeds at each other followed by trying to take branches of it home. The cocklebur seed is covered in long hooked spines which stick to fur, hair and many fabrics. We experimented with all different parts of our clothing to see which it stuck best to, and woolly fabrics were the clear winners. Then, as we each took a branch in hand to take home and ended up with bare twigs by the time we arrived at the car, we discovered how easily the seed is knocked off the branch.

We concluded that the cocklebur is a very accomplished hitchhiker. Supposedly it also boasts the honour of being the inspiration behind Velcro.

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