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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

During drying of the bilocular capsular fruit of Blepharis ciliaris (L.) B.L. Burtt (Acanthaceae, subfamily Acanthoideae), elastic potential energy is stored in the septum that separates the two locules. When the tip of the capsule is wetted, a failure develops in the tissue seams joining the two valves of the capsule, which propagates rapidly from the apex of the capsule downwards. This converts the elastic potential energy to kinetic energy, part of which is used to launch the two seeds from the peculiar hook-like jaculators on which they sit. The ballistics of seed ejection in Blepharis ciliaris is described and related to the morphology of the plant.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Life Sciences ; 2: Pearlstone Center for Aeronautical Engineering Studies, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


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