A look at the life cycle of a dandelion including wind-aided seed dispersal. Once fertilisation has taken place the plant will produce seeds. Plants such as dandelions often use wind to transport seeds. Each dandelion seed comes with its own individual parachute. This device works very well and only a slight wind will carry seeds high into the sky. As there are so many adult plants in one place there is no space for the next generation of plants to grow. The dandelion therefore needs the wind to carry the seeds far away. New plants are formed and the whole process starts again.

This clip is from:
Science Clips, Life Cycles
First broadcast:
10 October 2007

After studying the stages of a plant's life cycle, pupils could watch the clip to reinforce learning. As part of a lesson on seed dispersal, the clip shows the very specific design of the dandelion 'parachute' seed. Particular attention could be paid to the large amount of seeds the plant produces. Pupils could discuss the reasons for this, contrasting it with seeds that are produced for animal or water dispersal, in terms of quantity and design.