Due to an itchy finger, tomorrow’s post has been emailed to you tonight!
Some of the most dazzling flowers this time of year are easily overlooked due to their diminutive size and the fact that they are not found on the ground. The flowers of Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), a native shrub, are in this category. The shape and position of the male and female flowers illustrate their respective strategies for successfully producing seeds.
The female flower, located at the tip of the branch (where other branches don’t obstruct it) extends its tiny, star-like pistils into the air in several directions so that they easily collect pollen.
Down below the female flowers hangs the pendulous male catkin, dangling its pollen-laden stamens so that the wind can easily disperse the pollen. Because it is positioned below the female flower, there is a reduced likelihood of self-pollination.
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