Corylus colurna; a forest tree of grand proportions. With a trunk of deeply fissured bark reaching up to a magnificent cathedral of branches this tree is now laden with catkins. Stand beneath and appreciate the structure of the tree as you gaze up through the deciduous canopy set against a blue sky.
Initially the catkins are a mute yellow tinted red. As they mature, shedding copious amounts of pollen, the colour fades to brown. Held in groups and reaching 70mm in length these bear the male flowers.
Known as the Turkish Hazel, but native to SE Europe into Asia. Winter buds are brown and this is where the minute female flowers are held, often not seen.
The attached magnified light microscope images taken by Frieda Christie show the detail of the shield protecting the pollen holding anthers. These change colour once the pollen has been shed. Spherical grains of pollen shed from the ripening anthers can also be seen, dry and light, these grains are wind distributed.
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