Helicopters, whirligigs, twisters and samaras

These are all names for those wonderfully spinning things that come off of some maple trees each spring or early summer. (The name samaras is the technical nomenclature for this.) Yes, they become the seeds of the trees. The aerodynamic design allows the seeds to spin as they fall, and they will travel over long distances from the tree.

“Whirligigs” on the tree getting ready to fly

Seed positioned ready to germinate







Hundreds of these spinners will come from each tree, and they will be responsible for many seedling trees as well as clogging gutters and downspouts. In addition, many like to consume the seeds. Try them, they are tasty!


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