Hazel catkins

In some sheltered places Common Hazel trees can now be seen in flower, showing that spring is just around the corner. The yellow pendulous male catkins are conspicuous and are often present in high numbers. The small delicate red female flowers have to be searched for as tiny red tassels protruding from buds, often on the same twigs as the make catkins. When the yellow pollen is blown onto the female flowers, fertilisation will occur, resulting in Hazel nuts in the autumn, so loved by squirrels, mice, and some birds.

Male Hazel catkins and female flower, Blackstone, 24 January 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall

Female flowers on Hazel bush, Blackstone, 24 January 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall

Oak flowers

The male flowers of our 2 native oak trees, English Oak Quercus robur and Sessile Oak Quercus petraea, hang down in slim catkins. The female flowers are harder to spot, but they occur at the tip of the shoots. They are stalked in English Oak and stalkless in Sessile Oak. The photograph show the developing catkins in English Oak, photographed down by the River Severn south of Bewdley.

Male catkins, English Oak Quercus robur, 11 May 2013

Female flowers, English Oak Quercus robur