These days, my kids are finding the ground littered with nature’s helicopters – the maple seed! We always stop, pick up a few, let them go, and watch nature take flight.
Maples produce these helicopter-like seeds in late summer or early fall. They vary in size, shape, and color based on the species of maple they come from.
The seed pods have a wing that grows out from the ovary where the seed develops. As the pods mature the wings will dry out, making the seed pods lighter and more efficient for flight. The wind will blow them off the trees, littering the ground around the tree with the pods!
After a few months of cold weather, the seeds will germinate and in early spring we will seed baby maple trees sprout up around the base of the tree!
Fun Fact – You can actually eat the seeds of the maple tree!!
Want to learn more about maple seeds? Check out the following articles:
Go ahead and collect a few of the maple seeds you find on the ground. Then, use them for these science activities:
Learn about the Parasol Mushroom in an instant with this information and activities!
Learn about Blue Jay in an instant with this information, activity, and free printable!