Apr 13 2014
Spring is getting a boost on this warm and sunny weekend but we still don’t have blooming cherry trees, dogwoods or hawthorns. If you look closely, though, you’ll see one native tree has small red flowers.
Shown above are the male flowers on a red maple. The sepals and petals are only half as long as the stamens that stick out to catch the wind or tap the backs of bees. The flowers are a favorite with bees but red maples are so versatile they can be pollinated by both insects and wind.
Individual red maple trees can have all male, all female, or both sexes of flowers. The female flowers have no “fuzz” because they have no stamens (of course).
Look closely to see the tiny flowers.
(photo by Kate St. John)