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Growing Home: Ballistic Seed Dispersal

Some plants have evolved the ability to shooting seeds out of their pods. This is known as ballistic seed dispersal, also known by botanists as being “ballochory.” Mistletoe found on conifers in the Rocky Mountains are leafless, yellow-colored parasitic plants. When its seedpods are ripe it explodes seeds out at up to 60 mph. Mistletoe has sticky seeds that enable them to attach to other nearby trees. Wild sweet peas often found growing along ditches and alleys have pods that twist as they dry in late summer creating a tension that shoots the seeds out many feet.