Happy Mystery Monday! What evergreen trees are abundant in Nancy’s Meadow? These trees are some of the first trees to grow in a successional meadow.
Last week, we asked you about the seed chaff of the sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). Many of us know the sweet gum seed pod well. This spiky ball can be a welcome sight, a food source for birds, or a frustrating bane for those who prefer to walk sans shoes in the fall. These seed pods have beaked compartments that hold a seed and sand-like material known as the chaff. The seed is a relatively large winged seed, accompanied by the chaff that is thought to help with seed dispersal. These tan specks that we found on the trail aren’t the seeds, but certainly is an indication of how many seeds have been dispersed from these spiky pods. Sweetgum trees are important native trees that offer a variety of food to birds and insects and give us beautiful leaf color in the fall.
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