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Name: Tamara
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What plant shoots its seeds out at high speed?

Hi Tamara,

The phenomenon you describe is called explosive dehiscence and is a rare method of seed dispersal. The only plant I have heard of which actually uses this method of seed dispersal is the Bitter Cress (Cardamine). Bitter Cress has pods which dry causing strain in the pod's coat. Eventually something in the pod's coat gives and the strain is released as the pod bursts open and propels the seeds away from the plant.

Much more common methods of seed dispersal are wind (Eucalyptus), water (cocconuts) and animals (grass seeds).

Thanks for your question.

Cameron Millsom

Dear Tamara,

Touch-me-nots or jewelweed (Impatiens) has seed pods that burst sending seeds out explosively.


Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.

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