Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montréal 
Centre for Forest Research

Just like in Failure to Launch

Some trees hold onto their seeds until they germinate, no matter how long it might take. Look at the palm tree in this photo: there are already taproots coming out of each of the green coconuts. Palm trees often grow in extremely salty environments where it would be hard for a seed to germinate. These offspring are no longer seeds, though, but already formed seedlings that may succeed in colonizing sites where seeds could never manage. This protective adaptation, called viviparity, is a strategy that would doubtless meet the approval of mothers around the world, for it gives the next generation the best possible start in life.


Photo showing viviparity: the coconuts of a coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) are germinating while still attached to the mother tree.
Cocos nucifera
© Roch Fortune
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