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The Great Escape

Most plants make many seeds. A single cottonwood tree, for example, can produce 25 million fluffy seeds! If they all fell directly beneath the tree, there wouldn’t be enough sunlight and water for each of them to grow. To avoid overcrowding, seeds have different ways to escape from their parents.

Escape Plans


Acorns and hickory nuts are rounded and simply roll downhill when they drop to the ground.


Some seeds are sticky and cling to the fur of animals that brush against the parent plant.


Maple trees, dandelions, and many other plants produce fluffy or winged seeds that fly away when the wind blows.


Blackberries, apples, and other fruits contain seeds. When an animal eats the fruit, the tough seeds pass through the animal’s body and get pooped out in a new location.


Some plants, like jewelweed, produce pods that burst open and shoot seeds many feet away.


Water lilies and other aquatic plants make seeds that float in the water.

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