Posts Tagged ‘stamens’

A Catalpa Tree

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 This catalpa tree grows near the middle of our backyard.

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For some reason it had much less flower clusters this year than usual.

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There are more flowers on the upper part of the tree than there are on the lower part.

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One pistil and two stamens form a group near the opening of the flower.

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The lined-pattern on the lower petal are like that for a reason. They guide any visitors up into the flower, and they pollinate it at the same time.

The flowers bloomed the end of May.

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I don’t know what kind of insect this is. It does have long antennae.

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I couldn’t resist the shape and contrast of this abstract design.

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The above caterpillar is younger than the one below.

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I’ve only seen one caterpillar in the last week.

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Jewelweed

Buffy and I took some time to visit Glen O. Jones Lake for an easy hike. It was sunny, windy with a comfortable temperature. The water level was still low from our drought, and the bare sides of the lake had grown up with thick vegetation.

Jewelweed ( Impatiens capensis) grew in a large sprawling clump near the water’s edge. It’s an annual and is also called touch-me-not, because of the ways seeds scatter when a seed capsule is touched.

Up to 3 flowers bloom on drooping pedicels on the upper part of the plant. The flower are 1 inch long.

Insects would have to go into the flower to find the nectar. This way they pass a cluster of stamens underneath the ovary at the mouth of the flower.

Only the head and thorax of this bumblebee fit inside the flower. With stopping at several flowers, it would pick up and deposit pollen with each one it visited. Butterflies and hummingbirds also visit jewelweed.

Jewelweed grows in moist shady areas. There’s a less common yellow one that I’ve seen growing in swamps. The plants have a weak succulent stem that breaks easily. The juice from the stem helps to relieve itching from poison ivy.

Catalpa Tree

There are catalpa trees,

And then there are CATALPA trees.

The first picture shows the catalpa in my backyard. The second one grows in a vacant lot 2 miles south of here. Part of its shape resulted from being trimmed because of a power line above it. It’s obviously a lot older than mine too.

Insects pollinate trees with showy flowers, where wind pollinates trees with nondescript flowers. The flowers are short-lived on my catalpa, and many buds still remain. The flowers also give of a sweet scent to attract insects.

These next pictures show the internal structure and reproductive parts of the flowers. Two stamens with the pollen grow out to the upper edge of the flower’s corolla, and the 3 pistils (female parts) are at the base of the flower.

Two stamens at opening of the flower

Female parts at base of flower

Catalpa sphinx moths lay their eggs on catalpa trees. Summer before last there were so many catalpa worms that they ate almost all of the leaves off the tree. The tree recovered nicely, and the number of caterpillars returned to more normal.

Catalpa worms are a favorite of fishemen … and my grandkids.