Female Cottonwood Tree –

female Cottonwood tree catkins

Female Cottonwood Tree –

The little green balls in this photo are parts of a female cottonwood tree.  Surprised?  Cottonwood trees are either boys or girls.

These round growths are called catkins.  The catkin is a group of small flowers arranged around a stem in the center, which usually droops off new-growth branches at the top of the tree.

Female catkins wait for pollination by the male trees.  Once pollinated, they grow new seeds inside.  These tiny seeds are released in May when the fluffy white cotton breaks out of the catkin and floats in the air.  The release of cottonwood seeds is beautiful, especially at dusk when it can look like a warm weather snow storm.

The world was designed as male and female.  Animals, plants, and even trees are born with a specific purpose and meaning.  I like thinking of trees as boy or girl.

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