Some plants distribute their seeds by violently ejecting them so that they fall well away from the parent plant. This is explosive dispersal. An example of this is plants which belong to the Pea Family (Leguminosae). They produce seed pods which dry in the sun.

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As a pod dries, tensions are set up in the wall of the pod eventually causing it to split along two lines of weakness. As the two halves curl back, suddenly released like a tense spring, they flick out the seeds inside in an explosive manner. In the picture opposite, the halves of a seed pod which has ruptured in this way are clearly twisted, in contrast to the whole pod which is entire. gorse_parts.JPG (170524 bytes)
Gorse is a good example of this. Sitting near Gorse bushes on a hot day in summer in Britain, can be like sitting near a firing range, as the exploding pods sound almost like gun shots. The small seeds are very effectively thrown away from the immediate area. gorse3.jpg (230616 bytes)










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