Thursday, May 21, 2009
I've never seen a cottonwood tree before, so it never crossed my mind that they might produce cotton. Imagine my surprise when I went for a walk and saw lots of cottony fluff all over Battery Lane Park in Bethesda, MD. The stuff was everywhere, big clumps of it. And there were bits of it floating in the air. It took me a few minutes to track it down to the trees by the playground. If you have a little time over the next few days, I'd recommend that you go there and take a quick look, it is pretty interesting.
If you look close at the drifts of fluff you can see the small white seeds. I'm not positive, but I think that some of them have already sprouted.
Some cottonwood trees are female and some are male. Only the female trees have the fluff. The seed pods are way up in the top of the tree and each one produces a lot of the snow-like fluff.