Botanical Nerd Word: Anemoballism

Dry poppy capsules

Anemoballism: (Greek: anemos = wind + ballistes = to throw): form of dispersal in which the diaspores [seeds] are subject to indirect effects of wind, i.e. the wind does not transport the diaspore directly but exerts its influence on the fruit. The fruit (mostly a capsule) is usually exposed on a long flexible stalk that throws out the diaspores as it sways in the wind, e.g. sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera, Nelumbonaceae), poppy (Papaver rhoeas, Papaveraceae).*

Poppy capsules fling their seeds out as they blow in the wind – somewhat like a salt shaker.

*Kesseler, R. & Stuppy, W. (2006). Seeds: Time capsules of life. Buffalo: Firefly Books.