This is the season of flying fluffy seeds. Asters, thistles, blazing stars, milkweeds, and other late season flowers are sending their seeds into the air, a few of which might actually land in a place where they can germinate. Each of those seeds is attached to a filamentous structure, variously called a pappus or coma, depending upon the species of plant. Those fluffy structures catch the wind and allow the seed to travel many miles, in some cases – though most land within a few meters of their origin.
Seeds that can float on the air are a nice adaptation for plants, but they are also attractive photographic subjects. Over the last week, I’ve photographed the seeds of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata) and tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum) in some local prairies. Here are a few of those photos for your Friday enjoyment.