Fire-induced seed release in protea ?

Martin Kroeker martin at
Thu Aug 8 09:40:48 EST 1996

I have recently learned (?) that at least some species of Protea will
release their seeds only after being burned by a fire. The opening of
the seed capsules was described as an active process that occured about
an hour after the fire. 
Could anybody please shed some light on the mechanism of this process,
if the above is true ? My guess for now is that some restraining part of the 
fruit is destroyed by the fire, and structural strain (perhaps increased by 
uptake of water vapour ?) is relieved by unfolding.
Thanks in advance,
Dr.-Ing. Martin Kroeker                 
Inst. f. Organ. Chemie                   martin at
Univ. (TH) Darmstadt                           db7p at

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