Willow, or Salix platanoides, belongs to the family Salicaceae. To the same family belong, for example, poplar and aspen. They are metropysakille the plants, so the pollen from the male flowers spreads and reaches the female flowers with the wind. Usually metriopelma plants bloom before the leaves, while the leaves do not interfere with air flow and delay the pollen. Because they do not need to attract insects, they do not produce nectar and they do not need to care about the beauty of flowers: its flowers are usually small and inconspicuous, collected in inflorescence-earrings. But pollen they create a huge amount - much more than nasekomye. Pollen grains metriopelma plants light, so well tolerated by the wind. In some years, spring is in the air you can see the whole cloud of pollen of different species of willows.
However, willow is a very unusual plants. Despite the fact that they have all the signs vetapalem plants, they are still the exception to the rule. Although the process of awakening in their flower buds begin in late January, and they bloom earlier than all the other plants in our band, willows are the most valuable honey plants! Willow is a real salvation for bees and Bumble bees in the early spring when other food sources in nature yet. Insects are attracted on the one hand, fragrant nectar, and on the other a large quantity of pollen, which is densely ableplanet earrings in the flowering period.
Therefore, at present it is believed that willow are secondarily adapted to pollination through insects, and this adaptation could occur relatively recently. This is indicated, among other things, a large number of insect species visiting flowers of willow. This and the bees, and bees and butterflies and some flies. The fact that the flowers of most nasekomykh plants strictly adapted to a particular type or a particular group of insects. And such a diverse range of insect pollinators suggests that Yves has no special expertise in this area.
In April-early may on a beautiful red-brown shoots of willow (for which it is called in the people of krasnodara) bursts reddish thin film on the flower buds, and appear grayish-white fluffy balls. This male flowers willow collected in earrings. When these flowers bloom, stamens are long staminal filaments, the ends of which are yellowish lumps - anthers. Them produces pollen. At this time fluffy lumps of greyish become yellow, similar to tiny Chicks.
Why inflorescences willow fluffy? The structure of the flowers of the willow is also associated with the timing of flowering. The flowers of the willow no perianth, that is, the petals and sepals. They covered only one scale in the bosom, in which there are two stamens. The upper part of the scales covered with numerous long hairs, which give more neravetla the shackle characteristic fluffy appearance. These hairs, like a coat, dress the Bud and protect it from cold temperatures and sudden temperature fluctuations in a time when falling cap covering it.
Inflorescences and flowers male flowers willow:
1 - staminate inflorescence, 2 - staminate flower.
Female catkins of willow, as in other species of willows, grayish-green, oblong and are on the other willow trees - not those that are pleasing to the eye spring pussy.
Plants have male and female flowers are on different individuals, are called dioecious.
The structure of female flowers willow is similar to the structure of the male, except that here instead of stamens is elongated thickening to the bottom of the ovary. It resembles a bottle. The ovary is at the top goes into the column with a bifid stigma. Sticky surface of the stigma catches hitting the pollen.
Inflorescences and flowers female flowers willow:
1 - pistillate inflorescence; 2 - pistillate flower.
Seeds of red willow (willow platanoides) ripen in may-June.
Unfortunately, willow, and with them and the insects that eat their pollen and nectar in the spring suffer from the invasion of the people on the eve of the great Christian feast of palm Sunday. Most of the branches broke out in the vicinity of towns and villages, where willow and so little. From luxury shrubs often remain just pathetic twigs. So please, in preparation for the holiday, don't forget that willow is not just a holiday decoration, it is a living tree, an important part of the ecosystem that needs to be preserved. Do not enter too many branches. After the end of the holiday, take a couple of twigs from the jar with water and put in the ground - they are well rooted! Let willow will always delight us in the spring for its fluffy sheep!