Traveling Plants

By Amy Weiss

Sep 26 2019

While plants can’t walk, they can definitely travel. Plants have evolved a number of different ways to move their propagules (fruits, seeds, spores, and vegetative fragments)—from utilizing wind and water, getting a hand from animals, or doing it themselves mechanically. The dispersal of propagules allows plants to find new suitable habitat (away from the parent plant) and expand their range; an important skill in the face of climate change that can alter local environmental conditions.

The distance plants travel can get a big boost from humans. As people travel, plants travel with them—either intentionally or accidentally. However, weedy and invasive plants have become a serious problem as people move globally and alter the environment.

Learn more about the various way plants can travel by picking a path below.