Which Seeds Have Hooks Or Spines?


2 Answers

lakeesha Hennessy Williams Profile
Seeds that have hooks or spines are called burs (sometimes spelled burrs).

Some of the most common species of plants to have this feature include:

  • Avens
  • Burdock
  • Ragweed
  • Stickseed
  • Agrimony
Why do seeds have hooks or spines?
You may be wondering why seeds have hooks on them! Well, apart from making them look 'bad-ass', the hooks also serve a very important biological purpose:

They help a seed hook on to passing animals, to hitch a ride away from the mother plant - which is central to a seed's ability to survive and grow into a full plant of its own.

Just think, if all the seeds from a plant just fell to the ground right next to the mother plant, all the different seeds would be competing with each other for nutrients, water and sunlight. This would result in a poor survival rate for all the seeds.

Instead, when a seed hooks on to a passing animal using its spines, it can travel a great distance - hopefully falling off somewhere more suitable for it to grow.
John Profile
John answered
Cockleburrs genus xanthium - they're also given credit for the discovery of velcro!

Answer Question