Biologists have discovered that dandelion seeds prefer different wind directions

(ORDO NEWS) — Dandelion seeds can have different “orientations” so that from one flower they scatter in all directions and spread as widely as possible.

As a child, playing with dandelions , each of us must have noticed how difficult it is to blow off all the seeds with one breath. The plant has to be scrolled, substituting the air flow from different sides.

This feature drew the attention of biologists from Cornell University Chris Roh and Jena Shields. And, as it turned out, it arose for a reason.

Through experiments, scientists have shown that seeds located on different sides of a dandelion really react differently to wind blowing from different directions. This allows them to spread in all directions, spreading as widely as possible.

Biologists have discovered that dandelion seeds prefer different wind directions 2

After flowering, the dandelion forms a rounded basket with many seeds loosely attached to the base.

Each seed is equipped with a pappus (parachute) of fine hairs, which allows them to spread with the help of the wind.

Partially permeable to air, the pappus creates turbulent eddies that give it extra lift, allowing it to fly long distances.

Shields and Roh measured the force it takes to pluck these seeds from a spot. To do this, scientists carefully glued a thin wire to their pappus and stretched it, simulating the effect of wind.

Experiments have shown that the force required for this depends on the direction of the wire tension.

This shows that the wind blowing from one side easily blows away some of the seeds, but does not affect others, which will only be blown off when it blows from the other side.

According to scientists, this feature allows the plant to disperse seeds in all directions and is one of the important factors that ensure the extremely wide distribution of dandelions wherever they can grow.


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