Prairie seeds…


Autumn Prairie Sunrise copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

Fall does not signal the final days of interest on the prairie. Plants no longer garner attention from brilliant colorful flowers, but now in this late season, they maintain attention with their array of showy seed heads. Attraction is no longer to insure pollination, aiding survival of the species. Seed heads are designed for travel via wind or carrier; to blow freely in the air or to instantly stick to anyone who brushes against the seeds. Both methods help ensure expansion of plant populations. These species use seeds to expand their footprint in the prairie. Some seeds will produce new plants during their first year on the fertile prairie soil. Other seeds may lie dormant for decades, alive and waiting for conditions that stimulate their germination. Just as wild animals have predators and therefore reproduce in abundance to ensure survival of the species so too plants are prolific seed producers allowing for a specie’s survival in spite of seed-loving predators. The specie that may be most attracted to the seed-filled prairie landscape may not come as predator, but as observer. The reason is not for survival that most humans come to the fall prairie, but because such a prairie scene creates romantic reminders of our own fertility and mortality.

Prairie seed heads copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

 

Prairie in Seed copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

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