The directions for Chesapeake Challenge and Bay Buddies are almost the same: Match the seven seeds below with their descriptions. Bay Buddies clues, which are designed for younger sprouts, contain the actual name of the plant. Chesapeake Challenge will be a harder nut to crack, as one must also match the description and illustration to the names at right.

Cockspur Hawthorn
Common Burdock
Common Milkweed
Common Plantain
Queen Anne's Lace
Scarlet Oak
Witch Hazel

1. The bracts (small leaves often found at the base of a flower) of the common burdock completely surround its flower. In the fall, the bracts stiffen and form a pod around the plant's small black seeds. The ends of the bracts are hooked and catch on an animal's fur or clothing of a human passing by, shaking out and scattering the seeds.

2. A seed from queen anne's lace would fit on the head of a pin. When its petals dry up, they form bird's nest-like "cage" around the seeds. On dry days, this cage opens up, allowing the wind to blow the seeds away from the parent plant. On wet days, the cage closes, preventing the seeds from falling too close to the plant.

3. The flowers on the common plantain's long stalks are replaced with capsules containing 12-18 seeds. Not only are the seeds spread by the wind, but when the seeds get wet, their coating forms a sticky glue that will attach them to passing people or animals.

4. The red oak depends on animals to plant it. A squirrel will bury hundreds of its acorns, intending to dig them up later to eat. Fortunately for the tree, the animal often forgets where it planted many of the acorns, which the grow into trees.

5. Birds eat the fruit surrounding the cockspur hawthorn's seeds. The seeds pass unharmed through the animal's digestive system, and are pooped out in new locations. Be careful not to prick yourself on the plant's long slender spines!

6. Like explosions? Each witch hazel pod contains two black, shiny seeds. The seeds keep growing and start to push the pod open. Meanwhile, the wind gets into the pod, drying it out and causing it to shrink. Pop! The pod explodes-like magic (hint)-shooting the seeds out as far as 30 feet!

7. These seeds grow tightly packed in their pod, each with its own silky parachute. Each parachute consists of 900 hollow, silky hairs. But what if the seed is blown into water? A corklike rim will keep the seed afloat until it can be blown to safety.

Answers

1. [F] Common Burdock
2. [D] Queen Anne's Lace
3. Common Plaintain
4. [A] Scarlet Oak
5. [E] Cockspur Hawthorn
6. [G] Witch Hazel
7. [C] Common Milkweed