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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Redstem Stork's Bill - Day 380

  This was my second day off, the day that was supposed to be the big storm. Ho hum. It was a really good day to not hike, but all it amounted to here was rain and a little over an inch of wet snow. Sloppy, but it won't affect hiking very much.

I was going to go back and show you three seeds that I haven't been able to identify. Some of you know that one of my totally ridiculous life goals is to be able to identify every plant in the NE United States in every season of the year.

OK, when you are done laughing, I'll just show you one seed, but now I can identify it. And shame on me. It's found in Michigan, but I didn't know it. It's alien, but it's become so naturalized, it's found in 48 states and 7 Canadian provinces, including my home county. When blooming, it looks so much like the common Herb Robert and several other members of the Geranium family, that I probably overlooked it.

However, in North Dakota, I began finding these seeds screwed into my pants. What the heck? They were poking me, but so interesting!
redstem storksbill seed

Look at the stalk more closely. It's curled like a corkscrew, and the tip of the wider part is also curved. I've had this seed screwed into a curtain since North Dakota because I think it is so fascinating.
redstem storks bill

So here's another thing to ponder, is this the seed itself or the seed pod? This is the seed itself. The pod looks like any of the other long-stemmed Geranium pods that get lumped under the common name of Stork's Bills.

Now for the really fascinating part. I thought probably the wind would catch that tail, and screw the seed into the ground. But that's not how it plants itself at all. The tail unwinds when subjected to water which makes the tip rotate and plant itself in crevices. Here's a video of the tail reacting to water. From Wikipedia.

Video of redstem stork's bill seed in water

Plants are amazing!

In other news: I spent a whole lot more of the day than I like on the phone making plans, and talking with a reporter. I started another news article, did more planning, went grocery shopping, did laundry, cooked a pot of food that will last for a few days

Tomorrow, we return to our regularly scheduled hiking.

See It's the Little Things


Ann said...

How interesting

Arta said...

That is so fascinating for sure! Thank you for showing this.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "That seed looks like it was fired out of some kind of munition! Or maybe a submarine!"

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- isn't it?!

Arta- I love to learn about weird plant thingies

Lulu- It was fired out of the plant. Each seed pod explodes and shoots 5 of these missiles out into the world to await getting wet.