May. 2, 2017

pignut hickory, Carya glabra

The other day we talked about all those tall trees that dangle their stamens in the wind. All that pollen needs to go somewhere besides our eyes and up our noses. So here's a look at the pistillate (female) side of the story. The female flowers are very different. When I went looking for hickory flowers, this one particularly caught my fancy. It almost looks like some weird orchid. These are not more than a quarter inch across. Most female tree flowers are even smaller. That the whole process works is testimony to just how much pollen is in the air. Of course, some of our noses knew that all along. Pignut grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV, and ON. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 5/22/15.