Friday’s Seeds – Papaveraceae

Back to seeds, and just a few here from the last published seed gallery.

Many of the species of Papaveraceae family present seeds with elaiosomes, a well-known adaptation to ant dispersal (myrmechory). In the general term ‘elaiosomes’ are included various seed appendages rich in lipids (with oleic acid as the main component), amino acids, carbohydrates and vitamins.

These appendages are often very beautiful and interesting. Problem is, you have to be fast in admiration because few days after dispersal/collecting (whichever comes first ;-) they will ‘shrink’ or simply ‘disappear’. This applies as well for the seeds which are kept in moist storage for later sowing/sales (keeping these species as dry seeds is strongly NOT recommended).

Stylophorum diphyllum, one of my favourites, with ‘mohawk-style’ elaiosomes (insert with seeds in moist storage).

Stylophorum diphyllum

Stylophorum lasiocarpum – with a different ‘hair’ style.

Stylophorum lasiocarpum

Corydalis solida – displays  ‘leaf shaped’ elaiosomes.

Corydalis solida

Dicentra cucullaria – a hard one to catch and the elaiosomes fade very fast.

Dicentra cucullaria

And, I cannot forget the Sanguinaria: ‘little snails’ trying to get away :)

Sanguinaria canadensis


More on the Papaveraceae seed gallery.



10 replies
    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      I never had the pleasure of seeing fresh Cyclamen seeds, so I cannot tell. The Cyclamen Society website may have the answer to your question.
      Enclosing the capsules in an organza bag would easily take care of the situation ;)

    • christa kievit
      christa kievit says:

      Cyclamen don’t have elaiosomes. Once the seeds start developing the flower stem curls up and the seed get buried.

      • diversifolius
        diversifolius says:

        Thanks, after the hundreds of images over the internet, I woulds say the flower stem curls down not up.
        Sorry – links not allowed in comments. Anyone can google and see many images related with Cyclamen seeds/ or other subjects.

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