In fall the plants are throwing seeds like snowballs at each other,2957029932_eb1d771dd1_z

And each seed is a child being sent off by its mother.

“Goodbye, my dears!  Fly safe, fly free, sleep well all winter snug in soil;

Come springtime……..think of me.”

                                                                                          — Amy Ludwig VanDerwater


Did you ever think of plants as great travelers?  While it’s true that adult plants put down roots and die if they are removed from the soil, infant plants — what we call “seeds” — not only wander far and wide but will die if they don’t!  When plants scatter their seeds we say they are “dispersing” them.  Why do plants need to disperse or scatter their seeds?  Think about what do plants need to grow.  (Light, soil, water and air.)  What would happen if seeds all fell right beside the parent plant?

Plants disperse their seeds in several ways.  Some fly with wings while others are carried by down or fluff.  Some seeds sail on the water.  Others are eaten by animals and travel inside them for a while.  Still other seeds are shot away from the parent plant, and some even hitchhike in order to get around!

Our Nature Study class is embarking on a new adventure into the world of traveling seeds — what Margaret Warner Morley calls Little Wanderers in her book by that name.  I hope you’ll join us!


My favorite books on this topic (written for children, but I learned so much from them):

Little Wanderers by Margaret Warner Morley —

Seed Babies by Margaret Warner Morley —

A Seed is Sleepy by  Dianna Hutts Aston  —

Seeds by Ken Robbins —

Flip, Float, Fly:  Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken —