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.