It’s almost two months to the day since I blogged about the first Hazel I’d seen with both the male and female flowers open (Flowers and catkins, 15 January). Perhaps I’ve been remiss in looking for these, but yesterday I spotted my first Alder tree where both types of flowers had opened. The reproductive systems of the two plants are remarkably similar, both with long dangling pollen-shedding male catkins and much smaller pink anemone-like female flowers, except that the female Hazel flowers develop into a nut and the female Alder into a cone. It’s the female flowers that I find particularly eye-catching.
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