|A violet seed dispersal explosion about to take place|
A good way to experience the seed launches and the recoil, is to hold some open seed pods by their stems. You can feel the "kick" when the shots are fired. Another good way to visually experience a seed dispersal explosion is to prop a few seed pods in a natural position on a table top and place a clear plastic cup over them. This way when the seeds are fired you can see the stalks recoil and hear the seeds ricocheting around in the cup.
Here are some before and after pictures of the violet seeds dispersal.
The barrage has begun.......... .........fifteen minutes later.
Violet's explosive seed dispersal method is driven by a turgor mechanism (see the collapsing pod just beyond the outer seeds?)...the seed pods dry out and this creates pressure along the sides, squeezing the seeds until one pops out.... much like pinching a watermelon seed or cherry pit until it shoots away.
In the photo below, a fresh seed launcher is growing up (on the far left) to take the place of a spent launch pad (to the right).
|A wild violet flower blooming in the spring forest.|