Garden's GiftTips Plant Resources Garden Info Garden Accessories Florida Gardening Links www

Friday, March 10, 2006


No, it's not a cute name for a little furry animal. It's the stuff that drives folks crazy at this time of year. Catkins are the flowers from our oak trees. They are the little things that cover your car, patios, sidewalks and, more importantly, stuff up your nose and make your eyes water.

Produced by not just oaks but many other trees as well (hazel, poplar and birch to name a few), the name is derived from the Dutch katteken, or kitten, and refers to its resemblance to a cat's tail. It's ironic when you think of it because there are also many, many folks who are allergic to cats so why not to catkins?

The male catkins are the ones who drive everyone crazy. They are long just like a cat's tail and have more than a hundred little flowers. The flowers are unisexual and their purpose is to pollinate by the wind.

Interesting information, you say, but what about my watering eyes and itchy nose? Of course you can take the usual allergy medications knowing it will all blow over (no pun intended) within a few weeks. Or you can get even! Storm was out walking and, upon coming across Alder catkins, actually decided to eat them. He tried them raw, then boiled, and liked them so much he is ready to experiment with others. So, next time you see those catkins blowing through the air try catching a few for a snack. Let me know how it goes. Happy Gardening.

Comments: Post a Comment
Site Meter Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

back to top

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?