3rd Place – Dispersing the Seeds of Life, Finote Gijsman

This is a photograph of a plant called Pitcher’s thistle that is on the brink of becoming endangered. This seed head is in its final stage of development, dispersing seeds like a dandelion. The species plays an important role in the sand dune ecosystems around the Great Lakes.

Habitat destruction (by humans) and seed pillaging (by non-native weevils) are reducing the range and population of this species. Conservation biologists study the thistle and its growth cycle to inform conservation and restoration efforts for it and other endangered plants.

Finote Gijsman

Chicago Botanic Garden, Department of Plant Biology and Conservation

Tools & Techniques: DSLR Photograph

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