Why Do Some Seeds Stick to you?

Have you ever been out walking out in the forest or in a park and find that your socks and shoelaces and even your t-shirt have little seeds stuck to them. It can be kind of annoying to have to spend ages picking them off! But why do they stick to you? Why are the seeds made this way?

Burdock bush with sticky seed pods (they stick to your socks!)Plants grow from seeds don’t they? Almost all plants, including trees use flowers to make seeds. The seeds need to get from the seed pod into the soil so that they can grow. Some seeds just fall from the plant or tree onto the ground and they can begin to grow there. Other seeds, like the ones you find in strawberries and blackberries are eaten up by passing animals and then get pooed out in a different place! And some seeds are covered in tiny barbs so that they can grab onto your clothes or shoes as you brush past the plant. These kind of seeds can also stick onto a passing animal’s fur. Eventually the seeds fall off or are picked off and hopefully fall down into some soil. Then if all goes well this little travelling seed will begin to grow into a plant or a tree and the cycle starts over again!

So next time you are picking off seeds from your shoes you might throw them into your garden and give them a chance to grow into plants!

For older kids you might want to check out this great idea – planting your old socks!!

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