Day 257: Birch Catkins

“A catkin, also known as an ament, is a dense, elongated, and drooping cluster of flowers without petals. Most commonly, the flowers found on a catkin are of one sex. In some trees, such as the poplar, both male and female flowers are present. Catkins are typically found on trees which are wind pollinated, such as oak, birch, willow, and hickory. A few herbaceous plants, like stinging nettle, also produce catkins. Most catkins form prior to the foliage leaves, to allow for wind pollination. The wind carries pollen from a male or female catkin to a flower of the opposite sex, usually in a different form, such as a flower spike. In rare cases, catkins may be insect pollinated, but they most often rely on the wind to complete this process.” To read more click here

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