What are the characteristics of catkins?

Salix alba flowers

In the world of plants there are different types of inflorescences or groups of flowers, and one of the most beautiful or curious are known as catkins, since they are usually hanging and / or really beautiful colors.

There are many plants, and in particular trees, that produce them, so I’m going to explain to you below what are catkins and what function do they have.

What is a biosimilar

Fagus sylvatica flowersFlowers of the wild beech

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Line1

As we anticipated, flowers can be grouped in different ways depending on the species that produces them. A catkin is a spike of the same sex articulated by its base that is composed of simple flowerswithout petals or sepals; in fact, the feminine ones have only the stigma and the masculine ones the stamens.

They always appear in spring before the leaves or during their budding, and are pollinated by the wind, which carries pollen -which is very abundant- from one plant to another.

What are the plants that produce them?

Broadly speaking, we can say that all those that are within the subclass Hamamelidaeand within Willow and Beech families. Some examples are:

  • Near: known as beech, which are deciduous trees originating mainly from temperate regions of Europe, and reaching heights of 2 to 20 meters, and even more. See file.
  • hamamelis: cones such as witch hazel or witch broom, are shrubs or small trees native to North America that reach a height of 2 to 7 meters. See file.
  • Salix: known as willows. They are deciduous or evergreen trees – depending on the species and the climate – that grow in Eurasia. They reach heights of about 10-15 meters.

What function do they have?

Hamamelis flowers

witch hazel flowers

Catkins have the same function as any other flower: be pollinated to bear fruit and that, thus, a new generation can grow. The downside is that as the pollen they have is very abundant, it can cause allergy problems for sensitive people.

I hope this topic has seemed of interest .

What are the characteristics of catkins?

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