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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Violent Violas


You'd never imagine that flowers with such 'cute little faces' could be capable of such violence ......


....... after the flowers of most  members of the Violaceae, including violets, pansies and violas, have been pollinated the seeds develop inside a capsule .....


...... which splits into three segments when it ripens, then as the walls of the split capsule segments dry out they curl inwards, squeezing the rows of slippery seeds .....



....... until they fire them out, like a bar of soap slipping out of your wet hands in the shower.
























This photograph was taken a couple of seconds after the one above and during that time the capsule fired out three of the six seeds in that segment that points to 11 o'clock. Two of the seeds hit the lens filter with an audible ping and the third hit me square in the forehead.

No wonder 'volunteer' violas and violets germinate all over our garden.............


3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rick, one of the pleasures of growing these ballistic seed dispersers is that we've got self-sown seedlings growing all over the garden....

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  2. They have been my favorite even before i see them in person, in Sweden. Thanks for letting me know they are 'ballistic seed dispersers', haven't seen those pods. I wish they acclimatize with us, but no way they don't like our climate.

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