“Helicopters “… “Whirlybirds”… Seeds?


Do you like watching those little helicopter things that come floating down when summer arrives?… I loved them as a kid and I love them still… What a wonderful fun gift of nature… and the Maple Tree”   … Because that’s where they come from… A seedling waiting to become a new Maple Tree… They resemble a dragonfly wing I think…fragile… see through… and made just right to swirl down to the ground… This distinctive “fruit” of this neat tree are called samaras or “maple keys”… These seeds or “whirlybirds”  occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a “nutlet” attached to that flattened wing I was talking about… also described as fibrous and papery tissue… Their shape helps them spin as they fall and they can be carried a considerable distance on the wind… One Maple Tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time … Some of these seeds remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating… and “stratification” is required usually before they can germinate… From what I read… this means a period of warmth and cold… Evidently the little “helicopter” I found in one of my flower boxes… had done just that!… and a small tree was beginning to grow…

My Maple Tree

Maple Seed found in Flower Box…


3 thoughts on ““Helicopters “… “Whirlybirds”… Seeds?

  1. if my memory serves me right, i think when i was in elementary school we used to pick these helicopters up and be able to use them as whistles? did you do anything like this?

  2. Pingback: Abundance in 20 « Muse In The Valley

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