Another Sunny Day!

Monday, February 18th 2013

During  their walk to complete the weekly jobs Michaela and Brian spotted a Hazel tree in the sunshine, covered in catkins.  On closer inspection they found the tiny red female flowers also out.  Another tree covered in catkins is this Alder tree.  We know it is not "our" Alder species.  It has been checked, examined and compared to books various, whilst in bud and leaf and the best identification we can achieve is that it may be Italian Alder.   Watch this space if we can get a positive ID.

Possibly Italian Alder

The male catkins are obvious.  The female flowers are the tiny brown structures behind the catkins.

Whilst surfing the net for help with ID, information was gleaned that Alders are able to fix nitrogen from the air in their root nodules.  These nodules can be quite large, unlike those of the family Fabaceae (Pea Family - including vetches and clovers) which are small.  The ability to fix nitrogen, enriches the soil so providing extra nutrients for other plants.

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