Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tag alder in flower

Another late winter flowering shrub is Tag alder (Alnus serrulata). This wind-pollinated plant produces long narrow male catkins that release enormous amounts of pollen from March to April, depending on elevation and latitude. The attached photo shows both a male (pollen producing) catkin and several female catkins with tiny red hair-like structures (the stigmas) whose function is to catch wind-blown pollen. If all goes well, the female catkins eventually mature ripe seeds within small cone-like structures.

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