Have you ever seen a tree with helicopter seeds? No, not the kind that fly away in a gust of wind – we’re talking about the Samara fruit! This unique type of tree produces seeds that have wings and can travel long distances when they fall from the tree. In this blog post, we will discuss the Samara fruit and how it spreads its seeds. We will also take a look at some of the surprising trees that have been known to produce this unusual fruit!
In this article:
- What are helicopter seeds?
- Types of Trees with Helicopter Seeds (Samara Fruit).
- 1. Common hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata).
- 2. Green Ash (Fraxinum pennsylvanica).
- 3. Harlequin Norway Maple (Acer platanoides ‘Drummondii’).
- 4. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum).
- 5. Norway Maple (Acer platanoides).
- 6. Red Maple (Acer rubrum).
- 7. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum).
- 8. Tipu tree (Tipuana tipu).
- 9. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima).
- 10. Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).
- 11. Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina).
- 12. Winged Elm (Ulmus alata).
What are helicopter seeds?
Helicopter seeds are the seeds of certain trees that have a winged structure that allows them to spin as they fall, helping them to disperse further from the parent tree. The helicopter seed is an adaptation that helps these trees to reproduce successfully in areas with high winds.
Many people are familiar with helicopter seeds because they often find them stuck in the treads of their shoes after walking through a park or forest.
While the helicopter seed is an effective means of dispersal for these trees, it does have some disadvantages. The spinning motion of the seeds can make them more susceptible to being blown back towards the parent tree, and they are also often eaten by birds before they have a chance to reach the ground.
Despite these disadvantages, the helicopter seed is a fascinating adaptation that allows these trees to disperse their seeds far and wide. So next time you find one stuck in your shoe, take a moment to appreciate the incredible journey it has taken to get there!
Types of Trees with Helicopter Seeds (Samara Fruit).
The Samara is a type of fruit that grows on trees. The tree produces the fruit, which contains seeds that are encased in a thin, papery membrane. When the fruit ripens, it falls from the tree and the wind catches the membrane, spinning it like a helicopter blade. The Samara can be found in many different parts of the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The Samara is a type of fruit that is very popular in many parts of the world. It is often used in pies, jams, and jellies. The Samara can also be eaten raw or used to make juices and smoothies. The tree that produces the Samara fruit is a very beautiful tree. The leaves of the tree are long and narrow, and the bark is a deep brown color. The Samara tree can grow to be quite large, reaching heights of up to 30 feet.
1. Common hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata).
The common hoptree is a deciduous tree that is native to North America. The tree grows to a height of 15-20 m (49-66 ft) and has a trunk diameter of 0.60-0.90 m (24-35 in).
The leaves are trifoliate, with each leaflet being ovate to lanceolate in shape and measuring up to 12 cm (47 in) long.
The flowers are small and greenish-white, with four petals. The fruit is a samara, which measures up to 15 cm (59 in) long and is winged. The tree blooms in May and the fruit ripens in August.
The common hoptree is a popular ornamental tree and is often planted in urban areas. The tree is tolerant of a variety of conditions, including drought, shade, and poor soil. The common hoptree is also resistant to many pests and diseases.
The common hoptree is an important food source for wildlife. The tree provides shelter and nesting sites for birds. The fruits are eaten by a variety of animals, including squirrels, deer, and rabbits. The common hoptree is also a host plant for the caterpillars of several moth species.
The common hoptree has a long history of use by humans. The tree was used by Native Americans for a variety of purposes, including medicinal uses.
The bark and leaves were used to make a tea that was used to treat colds and flu. The fruits were eaten fresh or dried and used in a variety of dishes. Today, the common hoptree is still used as an ornamental tree and its fruits are sometimes used in brewing beer.
2. Green Ash (Fraxinum pennsylvanica).
Green ash Is a species of ash native to North America. It is found in mixed woodlands, often along rivers and streams. The green ash is one of the most widespread trees in the United States.
The green ash gets its name from the fact that its leaves are green during the growing season. The leaves turn yellow or brown in fall before they are shed from the tree.
The green ash is a deciduous tree, meaning it sheds its leaves each year. The leaves are opposite, meaning they grow in pairs on either side of the stem. They are pinnately compound, meaning each leaf has several smaller leaflets attached to a central stalk.
3. Harlequin Norway Maple (Acer platanoides ‘Drummondii’).
This is a hybrid tree that was created by crossing the Norway Maple with the Japanese Maple. The result is a beautiful tree with deep green leaves and helicopter seeds (samara fruit).
The Harlequin Norway Maple is a great choice for those who want to add some interest to their landscape. The helicopter seeds are sure to be a hit with the kids!
The tree is relatively easy to care for and is tolerant of a wide range of conditions. It does best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. The tree is also resistant to most pests and diseases.
4. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum).
The Japanese Maple is a beautiful tree that is perfect for any garden. The leaves are a deep red color and the branches are delicate and graceful.
The tree is native to Japan, but it can be found in other parts of Asia as well. The Japanese Maple is a popular choice for bonsai trees because of its small size and beautiful leaves. The tree is also used in traditional Japanese gardens.
5. Norway Maple (Acer platanoides).
Norway Maple is a large tree, native to Europe. It was introduced to North America in the mid-1700s and has since become naturalized across much of the continent.
Norway Maple is a popular landscape tree due to its rapid growth rate, dense foliage, and tolerance to urban conditions. However, it has become invasive in some areas where it has outcompeted native species.
Norway Maple is a deciduous tree that typically grows to 30-40 m (100-130 ft) tall with a broad, rounded crown. The leaves are opposite, simple, and deeply lobed with five to seven lobes. The leaf margins are usually serrated.
The leaves are dark green above and paler beneath, with a network of veins visible on the lower surface. The fall color is yellow to brown. The flowers are small and borne in clusters (corymbs) in early spring before the leaves emerge. The fruit is a double-winged samara that matures in late summer or early fall.
Norway Maple is best suited to full sun and moist, well-drained soils. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including clay, sand, and loam. Norway Maple prefers acidic to neutral soils but can tolerate alkaline soils. It is also tolerant of compacted soils, salt, and pollution. Norway Maple is not tolerant of drought or prolonged flooding.
6. Red Maple (Acer rubrum).
Also called soft maple or swamp maple, is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern North America. The red maple can be distinguished from other maples by its reddish-brown twigs, red buds, and red leaves in autumn. It is a relatively small tree with a short trunk and slender branches.
The red maple is a popular ornamental tree and is used as a shade or street tree. It is also an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. The wood of the red maple is used for furniture, flooring, and paper production.
Red maples are found in all states east of the Rocky Mountains, from Minnesota to Texas and Florida. In Canada, they are found in all provinces east of Alberta.
Red maples grow best in moist, well-drained soils but can also tolerate dry conditions. They prefer full sun but can also grow in partial shade. Red maples are relatively tolerant of urban conditions and can be found growing in cities and towns.
Red maples are susceptible to a number of diseases, including leaf spot, verticillium wilt, and tar spot. They are also subject to damage from pests such as aphids, scale insects, and Japanese beetles.
7. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum).
Silver maple is a species of maple native to eastern North America. Acer saccharinum is a large deciduous tree reaching a height of 18–35 m (59–115 ft). It is one of the most abundant and widespread maples in North America.
The silver maple grows best on moist, well-drained soils. However, it can grow on a wide range of soils, including heavy clay. It has a high tolerance for flooding and is commonly found along streams and rivers.
The silver maple is a popular tree for landscaping because it is fast-growing and has showy flowers and bright fall foliage.
8. Tipu tree (Tipuana tipu).
The national tree of Bolivia, it is also found in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay. A beautiful flowering tree, it has showy orange or yellow blossoms that appear in clusters at the end of the branches. The flowers are followed by long seed pods that contain numerous seeds.
The wood of the Tipu tree is hard and dense, making it suitable for a variety of uses, including furniture and flooring. The tree is also used in the construction of houses and other buildings.
The Tipu tree can grow to a height of 30 meters (100 feet) or more. It prefers deep, well-drained soils and full sun. Once established, it is relatively drought-tolerant.
The Tipu tree is an important source of food and shelter for a variety of animals, including birds, monkeys, and bats. The seeds are eaten by rodents and the leaves are browsed by deer. The tree is also home to a number of insects, including bees and butterflies.
The Tipu tree is an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. The flowers are also a food source for a variety of butterflies.
The Tipu tree is an important part of the ecosystem in the tropical forests where it grows. It provides shelter and food for a variety of animals and helps to maintain the forest’s biodiversity.
9. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima).
Ailanthus altissima, native to China, was first brought to the United States in 1784 as a garden ornamental.
Today, it is one of the most common trees in the urban landscape and can be found throughout much of North America. Tree of Heaven is a fast-growing tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet (15 m) in just a few years.
It has large, compound leaves with up to 40 leaflets per leaf. The tree produces small, greenish-white flowers that grow in clusters at the ends of its branches. These flowers are followed by samaras, or winged seeds, that are dispersed by the wind.
Tree of Heaven is a very adaptable tree and can grow in a variety of habitats, including disturbed areas such as vacant lots and roadsides. It is often one of the first trees to colonize an area after a disturbance. The tree can also tolerate a wide range of soils, including those that are poorly drained or compacted.
10. Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).
The tulip tree is a North American native that can grow to over 100 feet tall. Tulip trees are fast-growing, long-lived trees with showy flowers that bloom in early spring. The tulip tree is an excellent choice for shade and ornamental planting in large landscape gardens.
Tulip trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in fall. The tulip tree’s large, four-lobed leaves are distinctive and easily recognized. The tulip tree’s flowers are yellow-green, cup-shaped blooms that grow in clusters at the end of branches. The tulip tree’s fruit is a cone-like structure that contains small, hard seeds.
Tulip trees are found in woods, along streams, and in other moist locations throughout the eastern United States. The tulip tree is a popular choice for landscaping because it is fast-growing and provides shade and beautiful flowers.
11. Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina).
A beautiful, fast-growing tree that can reach a height of 50 feet (15 m) in just a few years. The leaves are compound, with each leaf having up to 11 leaflets. The leaflets are oblong and have a velvety texture, hence the tree’s common name. The flowers are small and borne in clusters, with the males and females usually on separate trees. The fruits are winged seeds that are dispersed by the wind.
Velvet Ash is a native of North America, where it is found in woods and along streams from southern Canada to northern Mexico. It has been introduced into Europe and Asia, where it is now widely planted as an ornamental tree.
The wood of Velvet Ash is hard and strong, making it suitable for a variety of uses, including construction, furniture, and flooring. The tree is also an important source of food and shelter for wildlife. Deer browse the leaves and twigs, while the seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. Birds also nest in the tree’s dense foliage.
12. Winged Elm (Ulmus alata).
A deciduous tree that is native to the southeastern United States. It typically grows to a height of 50-70 feet (15-21 m) and has a wingspan of up to 12 feet (366 cm). The leaves are simple, alternate, and oblong with serrated margins. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, appearing in spring. The fruit is a samara, which ripens in late summer or early fall.
The winged elm gets its name from the distinctive corky wings that run along the length of the branches. These wings are actually ridges of thickened bark that help to protect the tree from damage caused by ice and wind. The wood of the winged elm is hard and strong, making it valuable for a variety of uses, including furniture and flooring.
The helicopter seed is a fascinating example of nature’s ingenuity. These seeds have evolved to take advantage of the wind, allowing them to travel great distances from their parent tree. While they may not be the most efficient method of seed dispersal, they are certainly one of the most interesting. I hope this article has helped you to better understand these amazing trees and their seeds. Thanks for reading!