Plants that explode!


This is one of my houseplants, a yellow wood sorrel or Oxalis fontana, also called Oxalis stricta. It’s a fun plant because its seed pods explode.

Pods on some other kinds of Oxalis explode, too. They’re commonly sold as “shamrock plants” around St. Patrick’s Day and make lovely houseplants. I also have an Oxalis triangularis and Oxalis regnellii.

Pods of various kinds explode (here’s a sample) as an effective way to spread seeds — one of many strategies. Dandelion seeds fly far using an air vortex that forms above their fluff. Other seeds put mucilage to various uses besides gluing themselves to you so you’ll inadvertently carry them away.

And if you look close, seeds can be extraordinarily beautiful.

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