Thursday, 26 May 2011
Clocks on the Trail
Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion, grows alongside the TransPennine trail.
After flowering is finished, the dandelion flower head dries out for a day or two. The dried petals and stamens drop off, the bracts reflex (curve backwards), and the parachute ball opens into a full sphere. Finally, the seed-bearing parachutes expand and lift out of it. After the seed is released, the parachutes lose their feathered structure and take on a fuzzy, cotton-like appearance.
We call these "dandelion clocks".
For a closer view see Hyde Daily Photo.