Jumping seed, impatient plant

Self-dispersal (Autochorie). A strange word that you can understand a lot. I am talking here about how real plants can spread their seed. A bit of a pedigree, I would say that there are about 5 ways of spreading fruits and seeds. By the wind, by the water, by the animals and by humans or by the fact that the plant has to move its seed itself, simply drop it or shoot away.

Jumping seed

Jumping seed or Impatiens is primarily known as a plant for the curious spread of its seeds. We find these jumping seeds mainly in damp places, along streams and rivers. The Small spring seed (Impatiens parviflora) shows off with small pale yellow flowers dangling tenderly from an almost transparent stem. When the club-shaped box fruits are ripe. they tend to shoot their seeds all around. In this way, the Small jumping seed conquered almost the whole of Europe in the 19th century, after it had entered our botanical gardens from the East Siberian Mongolian area. It simply threw its seeds over the fence! The wind, the water, the animals and also humans contributed to the further spreading of the escaped garden plant. What was once considered a rarity in parks, soon became known as weeds, paving the way for itself with its relentless shooting of seeds. In the meantime, the small jumping seed has found its place in nature and is no longer so invasive. His great family member, the Giant Balsamic, Impatiens glandulifera, has since taken over the proliferating task, and again we think it will take over nature.
The same bullet rain causes the Great jumping seed (Impatiens noli-tangere) or 'Herb-stir-me-not' so called because it only needs to be touched with a finger or by a passing animal to make the 'bomb' explode. This experiment can be done at home if an Impatiens stem with wilting flowers is completely dried out in a vase. Garden balm and Diligent groin (Impatiens walleriana) on the windowsill show the same effect.

How does shooting off the seed work?

How the mechanism works in this regard is known. The cells of the five fruit leaves, which together form the fruit wall, begin to dry out and the fruit leaves separate from each other. The voltage (turgor) is no longer resisted. The fruit parts roll up in no time and the seeds shoot meters away. The largest known distance is 3.4 meters. At the Springveldkers (Cardamine impatiens) they have even found 'shots' of five meters. With the Pentecostal flower (Cardamine pratensis) the distance was 2.4 meters. Here too, the flaps of the fruit tear apart from the thickened edge due to the voltage differences, roll up from the bottom to the top and the seeds swing with great force in the air.

Jumping seed in the Bach flower therapy

It is curious that this diligent plant with the many troubled names in Dr.'s "spiritual" herbal medicine. Bach is used for impatient, chaotic people who want to do everything quickly, quickly. They hunt through life, making them nervous and irritable, getting stressed and easily suffering from insomnia. Giant balsamic makes nervous people milder, penetrates the sense of reflection and he can bring the necessary patience to other people. Dr. Bach writes about Impatiens: "You strive for perfect meekness and forgiveness, and the beautiful blossom of the Giant Balsamic growing along the banks of some streams in Wales will help you achieve that with her blessing." Would this plant also teach some nature lovers, who become impatient about the rampant growth of these Impatiens, something to them?

Video: Caterpillars Feeding on Exploding Touch-Me-Not Seed Pods. BBC Earth (February 2020).

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