Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Did you ever look at a Dandelion? I mean really look. I thought I had until I noticed this one. For some reason it just stood out, perhaps it was the light, I don’t know.

Anyway I pulled out one of the seed (achene) with the fluffy stuff (pappus) attached and took a close look. Whoa…are those little barbs?

I went inside to get my hand magnifying lens for a closer look and yes, they are barbs. When the seed bumps into something as it is blown by the wind, the stem, called a beak, along with the pappus breaks free of the seed and the seed falls to the ground. It looks like when the seed lands it would lodge itself into the ground and never move again. It reminds me of a fish hook that can go in but is hard to come out. Sometimes plants are as amazing as insects…well almost. Hee hee.

I took this last photo with my microscope but it is not needed to see it these details. A good little magnifying glass will do just fine. It is always amazing what I find in the yard when I look closely, really closely.

Visit other outdoor places at Outdoor Wednesday.


Sunny said...

Nature gives us so many wonderful things to explore, thanks for the reminder to look closely.
Sunny :)

Ellen Rathbone said...

Have you read "The Teeth of the Lion" by Anita Sanchez? Here's what she says about the seed: "Hanging under its parachute, the pointed seed gently comes to earth and touches down like a practiced paratrooper, feet first. The umbrella-shaped parachute remains erect, spread protectively overhead, and each touch of breeze makes the seed tilt back and forth, embedding itself more firmly with every movement. The seed slowly penetrates the soil, working its way in deeper, like a barbed arrow."

squirrel said...

Ellen, I have not read that book. The description was so poetic. Thanks.

Squirrel said...

Interesting perspective.

Woodswalker said...

There's a whole other world of beauty and mystery that lies beyond easy sight. Most folks look at dandelion fluff with horror and run for the RoundUp. But you looked closely and with wonder. And shared what you saw with us. Thank you!