This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Undoubtedly wind plays a great part generally in the dispersal of the seeds ef ericetal plants, on account presumably of the extensiveness of the dominant types, and of the need for dispersal to a distance. Thus Ling, Heath, Milkwort, Cat's Foot, Hawkweed, Sheep's-bit Scabious, Harebell, Red Rattle, Cow-wheat, Creeping Willow, in addition to the Spike Rushes, Sedges, and Grasses, have their small seeds scattered by the agency of the wind.
Two plants have an interesting mode of dispersal, viz. Furze and Broom. The elaio-somes afford an attraction to ants, which carry them away, and feed upon the nutritive matter they contain. The seeds are also dispersed by an elastic movement, the crackling of the gorse being a well-known feature in spring and early summer. Some of the heath plants rely on other animals for dispersal, as Heath Bed-straw, the fruit bearing hooks; Whortleberry, the fruit being edible and eaten by birds.