Engineered Magic: Wooden Seed Carriers Mimic the Behavior of Self-Burying Seed

How seeds implant themselves in soil can seem magical. During rain or high humidity, the corkscrew-like stalk of Erodium unwinds and twists the seed into the soil, where it can take root and is safe from hungry birds and harsh environmental conditions. Inspired by Erodium’s magic, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University collaborated with Syracuse University, Zhejiang University, University of Pennsylvania, and Accenture Labs to engineer a biodegradable seed carrier referred to as “E-seed.” Their seed carrier, fashioned from wood veneer, could enable aerial seeding of difficult-to-access areas, and could be used for a variety of seeds or fertilizers and adapted to many different environments.