TH: Tree Flowers (Class Angiospermae)

Reply-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com -------------------------------

 Millicent E. Selsam, 'Tree Flowers' (1984), illustrated by Carol Lerner.

 American Elm (Ulmus americana) -
 The elms burst into bloom in early spring, but the flowers are so
 tiny that all you can see of them is a haze of purple in the treetops.

 Many years ago, elm trees were favorite places for Indian tribes
 to gather.  In the spring, one Indian would say to another, "Meet
 me when the elms are in flower."  Since the flowers only last a
 few days, no one would have to wait too long for a friend to appear ...

 Apple (Malus pumila) -
 In the springtime, you will probably see apple trees covered with
 sweet-smelling, light pink blossoms.  They are borne on short,
 stubby twigs.

 Each flower contains many pale green stamens and five pistils.
 The pistils are joined at the base, forming a five-lobed ovary.  A
 cuplike swollen flower stalk called a 'receptacle' surrounds it.

 Apple flowers are sweet.  Bees and other insects come to suck the
 nectar produced by the flowers  and to gather pollen.  In doing
 so they unknowingly carry pollen grains from one flower to another
 and pollinate them ...

 Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) -
 In the spring, if you see a tree that seems to be holding layer upon
 layer of white or pink flowers, it is probably a dogwood tree.  But
 when you look closer at one of the flowers, you will find that it
 is not a flower at all.  What appears to be four red-tipped white
 petals are really a kind of leaf, called a 'bract.'  The tiny true
 flowers are clustered together in the center ...

 Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) -
 A tree that looks as though it is bearing thick white cndles is
 probably a horse chestnut tree.  In May, tall white clusters of
 flowers unfold, hundreds at a time.  That is when bees and wasps
 will gather to suck the nectar at the bottom of the flowers.

 Each flower has five white petals spotted with yellow and red.
 Long yellow stamens protrude far out of the flowers.  This tree
 may bear some flowers without pistils, in which case they will
 not give rise to seeds ... 
                                            - From 'Tree Flowers' (1984)