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Spring erupts in a puff of pollen from Grey Alder (Alnus incana), also known as Speckled Alder. I’m flicking the male flowering part, the dangling staminate catkins, which are loaded with pollen. The female flowers are borne on the smaller red pistillate catkins just above the males. By the way, these plants are normally wind-pollinated (not finger-flick-pollinated).

Here below is a Grey Alder at Berlin Pond, in Berlin, Vermont, on April 12, 2011. The catkins of each sex tend to mature at different times — so that the alder does not self-pollinate but rather outcrosses to a different individual.

Finally, here’s a live map of Grey Alder sightings reported to iNaturalist since March 1. Most show catkin images. So you might gauge their flowering status near you. (Some show last year’s [spent or pollinated] catkins.)

1 comment
  1. Sue Cloutier says:


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