Seed Dispersal

Jane McGary
Mon, 23 Sep 2013 19:24:00 PDT
Richard wrote
>But how do lilies, and also Erythronium appear as pioneers in 
>cutbanks or recently disturbed ground. Surely as discussed in this 
>earlier post established bulbs are released into blooming condition 
>by over-story removal.I have not found any mention in literature yet 
>of a seed movement mechanism in lily, Erythronium yet but I think 
>the flat shape adheres to passing wet animals on feet and fur, feathers.

Seeds of western North American Erythronium species are distributed 
by ants, which carry them off to eat a nutritive structure on the 
seed and then drop the fertile main part. An exhaustive (and to me, 
as editor, exhausting) discussion of this appeared in the Rock Garden 
Quarterly a few years ago. This is also true of western Trillium. 
Lily seeds are probably distributed not only by wind, but also by 
flowing water.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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