Tag: geocarpy

Newly Discovered Plant Bows Down and Buries Its Own Seeds

By Douglas Main | September 22, 2011 9:28 am

A botanist has discovered a new species of plant in eastern Brazil whose branches bend down upon bearing fruit and deposit seeds on the ground, often burying them in a covering of soft soil or moss. This trick is an example of geocarpy, a rare adaptation to survival in harsh or short-lived environments with small favorable patches. The adaptation ensures seedlings germinate near their parents, helping them stay within the choice spots or microclimates in which they thrive. One well-known practitioner of geocarpy is the peanut, which also buries its fruit in the soil [PDF].

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
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