Butterfly weed, a type of milkweed, is setting forth its flat brown seeds. The seeds have been growing inside long thin pods since the summer and have now burst open to expose the seeds to the elements, one element in particular, the wind. The seeds are attached to fluffy white, silky filaments which help to carry the seeds, often, far away from the mother plant. The plant pictured happens to be in Catch the Wind here at the Museum, apropos for a wind-borne seed demonstration.
Many plant seeds are dispersed via the wind. Dandelion immediately comes to mind. Black willow, a dominant tree in our wetlands sends forth seeds via the breeze during spring. Groundsel tree, or bush, is preparing its seeds for dispersal now. Perhaps by next week, the air will be full of white fluffy seeds, at times appearing as snow rushing across the wetlands.
The weather outside is perfect for taking a walk. While you’re there (outside) keep an eye out for what’s going on around you.