Monday, October 09, 2006

Update on Tree Seed Pod Post

Leaf from Hazelnut tree (with strange seed pod)

I revisited the tree where I found the unusual seed pod (see previous post). I took a sample leaf from the tree, depicted here. It is approximately 16 cm long and 12 cm wide. This was one of the larger leaves, there were smaller leaves as well. The leaves are alternately placed on the stem.

Thanks to Alan S. Weakley, Curator of University of North Carolina Herbarium in Chapel Hill who helped identify it as a European Hazelnut tree (Corylus avellana) . It is located in a Taylor Creek Park so it was likely planted there on purpose by the old East York Parks Department that managed the park before amalgamation. Toronto has since become more careful about planting non-native species in the natural areas of the city.

The seed pod has an unusually long woody bracts that might be caused by a virus, or it could be a cultivar of the tree that normally produces this type of seed pod, I am not sure at this point. Still it is an unusual tree.

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