Saturday, May 7, 2011
Hepatica Seed Myrmecochory Fail
Myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants. So naturally I took a pinch or two of seeds to put them by ants and see what they'd do.
The only ant that I found to have any interest in these seeds was the invasive Tetramorium species E. and even then I'm pretty sure they were more interested in the seed part than the elaiosome. The pavement ant clearly had more interest in the non-elaiosome side than and was trying to drag the seed home.
I didn't harvest all of the seed heads, and ended up planting the ones I did. I'm thinking they might not have been mature yet. However, they did seem to fall right off the plant with only a very light touch. I'll try again in two weeks if they're still there, but I might as well plant the rest from the flower heads I did disturb. The elaiosome connecting the seed to the plant might dry out.