Disguised as a Beard, Oak Flowers

Disguised as a Beard, Oak FlowersThe brow stuff that falls off oak trees each year during spring is called the tree’s beard.

The so-called beard is not exactly what comes to mind when a person thinks of flowers but it is in fact exactly that, a flower, even though it is neither sweetly scented, colourful or showy.

There are many types of oaks, on Long Island the most common types are white, black and Northern red oaks. When these trees reach the age of 20, most of them begin to produce a fruit (the acorn) — it is a fruit because it contains seeds. Every spring what is otherwise called a catkin appears, it is the flower of this fruit.

A single tree has both male and female flowers. The brownish yellow beard-like flowers are actually the male blooms. The male flowers’ only job is to release pollen and when they have done that, they are done their work. They then drop to the ground messing up patio furniture and back yards. The female flowers stay on the tree until fall, they are much smaller and not as eye-catching, they produce acorns.

[Via: newsday.com]

Disguised as a Beard, Oak Flowers was last modified: June 4th, 2008 by admin
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