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Seed Dispersal – Types and Examples

Grade 2
Jun 6, 2023


As we walk around the garden, we come across different types of new seedlings and small plants with tender leaves and stems arising from the soil.

Have you ever thought about how these new plants grow and spread their seeds?

This happens through seed dispersal. Let’s learn in brief about seeds and how they are dispersed.

what is a Seed?

Seeds are the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant. You’re probably familiar with seeds if you’ve ever eaten an apple or a watermelon.


The small parts produced by plants from which new plants grow are called seeds.

When these seeds are buried and given the right conditions, they turn into plants, like an apple tree or watermelon.

In-plant species like groundnuts, walnuts, and chickpeas, seeds are used as a source of food.

Most of the seeds come from flowering plants.

Seed Dispersal

Seed dispersal refers to the process through which seeds get away from the parent plant to a new place.


Dispersal of seeds is important to avoid overcrowding and competition between existing plants for various essential components.

This ensures proper growth and survival of the parent plant and the new plant.

Types of Seed Dispersal

There are different ways in which seeds from their parent plant are dispersed. These include:

1. Seed Dispersal by Wind

The wind is the natural means of seed dispersal in the plant kingdom. Some plants have very small and lightweight seeds. Such seeds are spread or dispersed by wind.

Example: The seeds of an orchid plant, dandelions, cottonwood tree, etc.

Dandelions have feathery pappus connected to their seeds and can be dispersed over very long distances.

2. Seed Dispersal by Water

In this method, seeds float away from their parent plant.

Seeds of the plant that grow in or near water bodies are dispersed through the water.

Seeds can travel long distances depending on the specific mode of water dispersal. Example: Water lily, coconut, lotus, and mangrove trees.

The figure shows an example of how lotus seeds are dispersed by water.

3. Seed Dispersal by Animals

Birds and animals can consume seeds and disperse them.

Birds and animals are the most important seed dispersers.

Many other animals and we eat fruits like papaya, mango, and apple. Their seeds are just thrown away. This way, the seed will reach another area and grow into a new plant.

4. Seed Dispersal by Explosion

Some fruit pods containing seeds burst on ripening and scatter their seeds.

Example: Pea plant, mustard, balsam, etc.

The figure below shows a few examples of seed dispersal by wind, water, animals, or explosion.

Seed Dispersal


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