Samara (fruit)

type of non-opening dry fruit with a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue

A samara is an achene, a type of dry winged botanical fruit.[1] The shape of a samara enables the wind to carry the seed farther away than regular seeds from the parent tree:[2]

  • The seed can be in the centre of the wing, like the elms and the hoptree.[3][4]
  • The seed can be on one side, with the wing extending to the other side, making the seed self rotate it falls.[5]
vine maple (Acer circinatum)
samara of Combretum zeyheri
Seeds of the tropical ash (Fraxinus uhdei)


  1. botanical fruit = seed with covering tissue, but not a fruit in ordinary speech.
  2. Fergus, Charles (2002). Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811720922.
  3. Catalogues of Plants: no. 1. Arthur J.C; Coulter J.M. and Barnes C.R. 1881. Catalogue of the phaenogamous and vascular cryptogamous plants of Indiana.
  4. Transactions of the Royal Scottish Arboricultural Society. Douglas & Foulis. 1881.
  5. Alexander, David E.; Vogel, Steven (2004). Nature's Flyers: Birds, Insects, and the Biomechanics of Flight. JHU Press. ISBN 9780801880599.

Further readingEdit