Sunday, March 20, 2011

Laps Among Early Bloomers of Prospect Park

Male flowers on a Red Maple, me thinks.

Among the yellow haze of the blooming Cornelian Dogwoods and the bright Red Maples flowering in Prosect Park, there were some salmon blooms. I first thought perhaps it was a different early-flowering maple, but now I think it might be a Red Maple with all male flowers. Apparently, the Red Maple is polygamo-dioecious (say that three times fast), with some trees bearing only male or female flowers (dioecious) and some trees bearing flowers of both sexes (monoecious). I see only anthers on the flowers on the tree pictured above and below, so I'm pretty sure it's a tree with only male flowers, but I'm not sure that it's a Red Maple. Maybe there's a Pink Maple (nah) or perhaps it's a Silver Maple, which also blooms early and flowers like the Red Maple.

Cornelian Dogwood bloom, Prospect Park, Brooklyn

The other sightings on a crisp-weathered bike ride were the yellow blooms of the Cornelian Dogwood in closeup above and one of the first Magnolias in the park to bloom below. (There was one flower completely open at the top of the Magnolia and if you look closely at the picture below, you can see the hint of white in another just beginning to open.) I seem to remember seeing a Magnolia on the east side of the park blooming just a bit earlier than some of the others last year.

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