Catkins in the wind

Hazel Catkins

 

The hazel catkins, or lamb’s tails, are looking good at this time of year. Jan and Feb are the best time of year to see catkins, as they develop before the tree’s leaves. This is a strategy for getting the wind distributed pollen to travel as far as possible, without leavesĀ getting in the way. Hopefully this results in the fertilization of another hazel, possible one which is many miles away. Did you know that one catkin may contain up to 5 millions grains of pollen! Because the pollen on catkins is wind distributed, the tiny flowers of the catkin don’t contain nectar to attract insects. However, invertebrates, such as our bees, still benefit from the catkins by collecting up and feeding on the pollen itself.

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