Saturday, February 13, 2010

Corylus avellana 'Contorta' Blossoms

We had a wonderful day in the garden and dragged ourselves in only a short while ago. The forecast was for 60 degrees, but that temperature was never reached as the sun's rays failed to push through the layers of clouds. A few things are blossoming, but to my surprise is the abundance of flowers upon one of our large rosemary plants.

In high fashion are the catkins of Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (aka Harry Lauder's Walking Stick). The contorted filbert is monoecious, having separate male and female blossoms on the same plant, just as the birch tree does. The greenish-yellow and pendulous male catkins were abuzz throughout the day from our little friends, while the lovely diminutive red female blossoms stood quietly by and unnoticed. Be sure to look closely at the female worker bees and their tiny little yellow sacs of collected pollen.

(enlarge to see the beautiful little red female blossom)