seed dispersal

Seeds are dispersed by wind, water, animals or explosive dehiscence. Seeds dispersed by wind may be winged (like sycamore), light and easily carried (like dandelion), or shaken from the seed head only in windy weather (like poppy). Seeds dispersed by water are light or fluffy (like willow), so that they float. Seeds dispersed by animals either have fruits that are fleshy and attractive to eat (like apple), sticky (like mistletoe) or prickly to enable them to cling to the coat of a passing animal (called burrs; like burdock).

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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