Hanging loose! Once the Senecio spiraeifolius fruits are ripe, the plant’s grip in the receptacle on the base of the individual, dry fruit is relinquished for its release in a dispersal flight.
A gentle breeze may take it a short distance or in a few bouncy stages, if that is what the weather offers on the day. On other days (or nights) a gale may sweep the seed up high and far, flung along in bewildering gusts before depositing it in a place around or beyond the traditional boundaries of its species home.
This is when the seed’s adventure may grow to pioneering proportions. Too far away and too alien the environmental conditions, and the venture fails: Too inappropriate, like too hard for germination, or the germinating seed is promptly overwhelmed by challenges beyond its capacity and no seed will be set.
But then, every so often, the unusual happens! Rare things keep happening in the real world, even climates change! All relevant variables converge into the success intervals of their ranges. The deviant plant makes it, makes history.
Its offspring are all at the threshold of a speciation venture, nature's percentage game achieving a hit in the casino of life. This is the rare moment when another of life's miracles happens amidst, almost always, a deafening silence. Unless it's a virus with lethal effects breaking into the human domain, causing a global cacophony.
For there are no crowds of spectators when the kidnapped seed sprouts a leaf in a strange land. Only a scientist or two may later reconstruct a picture of this momentous happening, without ever recovering half of the factual details and without definitive confirmation of how close their image came to the past moment of truth. Still, something old is for the first time coping in a new way in a new world, alien to the ken of its ancestors. Like when the first plant seed miraculously arrives in the first soil formed on a new volcanic island.
So, the obliging and ill winds alike occasionally make history, modifying the distribution ranges of particular plants in record setting and exploratory performances. Or only drop a seed where the plant to grow may be considered rare.
All living species have their adventurers, discoverers, voortrekkers, border-crossers and barrier-breakers. Like Covid (Manning, 2009; Manning and Goldblatt, 1997; iNaturalist).