What do you call the dry, winged seed pods that get blown off a maple tree? Scientifically, they're known as samaras, but most people know them better as helicopters, whirligigs, keys, or polynoses.
The shape of a samara enables the wind to carry the seed away from the parent tree. Samaras from maples and ashes have a seed on one side with a wing extending outward. This causes the samara to spiral as it falls. Seeds from elms, which have a seed in the middle of the wing, fall straight down.
- A seed is sleepy
airborne journeys of animals and plants.
- Maple seed helicopters
Autorotating helicopters, based on the shape of maple seeds, are made from paper.
Last updated by curious on Aug. 23, 2008
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