A samara (/səˈmɑːrə/, UK also: /ˈsæmər-/) is a winged achene, a type of fruit in which a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue develops from the ovary wall. A samara is a simple dry fruit and indehiscent (not opening along a seam). The shape of a samara enables the wind to carry the seed farther away than regular seeds from the parent tree, and is thus a form of anemochory. In some cases the seed is in the centre of the wing, as in the elms (genus Ulmus), the hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata), and the bushwillows (genus Combretum). In other cases the seed is on one side, with the wing extending to the other side, making the seed autorotate as it falls, as in the maples (genus Acer) and ash trees (genus Fraxinus).
A samara is sometimes called a key and is often referred to as a wingnut, helicopter or whirlybird, whirligig, polynose, or, in the north of England, a spinning jenny. During the autumn months, they are a popular source of amusement for children who enjoy tossing them in the air and watching them spin to the ground. Some species that normally produce paired samaras, such as Acer pseudoplatanus, also produce them in groups of 3 or 4.
This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Notes meme.
never heard of it before… but the photo is truly magnificentReplyDelete
Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
♫ M e l d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)
I like how the flower petals impersonate a whirly thing.ReplyDelete
Oh, THOSE things. I've seen them forever but never knew what they were called!ReplyDelete
That's a new word for me - I know them as keys. Great choice and description!ReplyDelete
I learned a new word and one I should know.. We called them whirlybirds here in NY...MichelleReplyDelete