Yesterday's hike. About 2100-2200m elevation.
Thank you for taking us on another of your hikes! Beautiful & informative.
A willow... (I guess I should try tackling Salix ID's some day... or maybe not, given my troubles even with potentillas...) This one seems to have been nibbled, by bighorn sheep, perhaps, judging from the nipped-off flower stems. Both the male (yellow) and female flowerbuds (red) are visible, I believe.
This message was edited Jul 26, 2008 10:15 PM
Both the male (yellow) and female flowerbuds (red) are visible, I believe.
Can they do that? Maybe some species can. Or, I wonder if you were just seeing the color change of the stamens as they age?
Well, according to the book I use as a reference to Alberta flora, willows are dioecious.
"Dioecious - having unisexual reproductive units with male and female plants. (flowers, conifer cones, or functionally equivalent structures) occurring on different individuals; from Greek for "two households". Individual plants are not called dioecious: they are either gynoecious (female plants) or androecious (male plants)."
I guess this would imply that there are a number of plants in the photo, not one, right?
Actually, I was looking at some other willow photos, about which it was said that the female flower buds were red, and the males ones yellow, and I assumed the same relationship applied to this plant (rightly or wrongly, LOL!) If you copy the photo onto your computer, then zoom in on it, you can see the difference in the flower buds - some of the "male"(?) flowers are already open.
And, by the way, please correct me if this is total hogwash!!
This message was edited Jul 28, 2008 9:36 PM
I think we are both grasping tidbits of info and inferring. Some of my species willows that are males, have stamens that are first yellow and turn to red as they age. Then I have some that are just yellow. The catkins look similar (to me) to what I would invision females to be on my plants.
I still have the zoom capability directly from the web pics (rather than doing tha copying rubbish), but I am not sure I can discern and confirm your um, analysis? LOL But I can't explain it any better than you either.
Interesting how the "males" are all in specific groupings, as if they are certain branches. That actually could explain it. Some normally female plants of other woody species will randomly throw out mutations of male buds that can grow to be branches. Maybe this willow too.
Altagardener, those are great photos! I love the Alpine garden look and since we have so many rocks here, I try to give some of that look to some areas of our garden.