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Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 17, 2021 6:01 PM CST
Can You Guess What It Is?

Here is a hint. This is attached to the twig of a Scotch (Scots) pine tree (Pinus sylvestris). The twig itself is bare and many people believe the tree has dropped its needles. But instead this is where the pollen cones were attached, and this is the last pollen cone clinging to the twig.

Thumb of 2020-11-15/lauriemorningglory/efb621
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Nov 17, 2021 6:18 PM CST
Very interesting. Thanks for the explanation Laurie. I would have guessed dropped needles but then I don't know a lot about trees.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Nov 17, 2021 7:41 PM CST
Cool banner Laurie!
Isaac Asimov, once wrote, “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”

Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Fleur569
Nov 17, 2021 9:16 PM CST
Great trivia info banner and perfect horizontal fit.
Name: Zoia Bologovsky
Stoneham MA (Zone 6a)
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: Massachusetts Bee Lover
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Zoia
Nov 17, 2021 9:28 PM CST
I'm somehow reminded of asparagus Blinking
Name: Elizabeth
Ann Arbor, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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arctangent
Nov 18, 2021 10:17 AM CST
Very cool subject matter. Well done.
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Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Nov 18, 2021 12:17 PM CST
I thought it might be a cluster of bugs.
Never occurred to me it's a pine cone! 😜

Do you have a pic of the tree?

Good job! Thumbs up
Learn &/or create something every day.
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Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 18, 2021 6:06 PM CST
I think this is the original image. Some years the conditions are perfect for producing numerous pollen cones. After the cones drop, the bare areas are quite noticeable. Folks wonder what they can spray to kill the "bug" that ate the needles. Thinking

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Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
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hiyall
Nov 18, 2021 8:44 PM CST
Laurie, thanks for interesting, informative banner.

I did research for a garden club presentation.

We were all surprised that there are male and female pine cones.

Is the pollen cone similar to a pine cone?

I can see where people think a bug ate the leaves!
[Last edited by hiyall - Nov 18, 2021 8:45 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2627924 (9)
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 20, 2021 3:54 PM CST
Here's a few more pictures of pine cones.

These are the pollen (male) cones of Vanderwolf pine. This was taken in springtime. New needles are just beginning to grow at the tip of the twig.
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I took the next 3 pictures today (Nov 20). This first picture shows a central bud (which will be the new pine shoot in spring) and surrounding it are pollen cones (male cones) that have a reddish, papery covering to protect them until spring. This is a ponderosa pine.
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Here is another branch on the ponderosa pine showing a bud (upper left) and an immature female cone (lower right). These little cones on ponderosa have sharp prickles-- some folks call them "baby porcupines." Hilarious!
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Here is a closer shot of the ponderosa pine cones--one is split open. You can see the sharp prickles, too.
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And this is an immature female cone (lower structure) on a Scotch pine (along with three buds). On Scotch the female cones curl down (or backwards) along the twig. These are much smaller than the ponderosa pine cones.
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Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 20, 2021 3:59 PM CST
Thank you to all of you for your likes, comments and acorns! This has been a fun exercise--I know a little about pines, but it was interesting to go out and observe the current state of the cones and get a few pictures. Smiling
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 20, 2021 4:08 PM CST
@hiyall TT, The similarity is mainly in the shape: "cone-shaped." Male cones are just very small. The have "scales" like a female cone, but they are papery rather than woody.

Here is a picture of some old male cones--note that they have elongated. I assume that on some pine species, the male cones elongate and on others they don't. This is on a ponderosa pine. Usually the male cones fall off during the growing season after they have released their pollen, but in this picture, the cones are still attached---I think because the shoot above them died.

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Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Nov 20, 2021 10:23 PM CST
You know waaaay more about pines than I do, that's for sure! I tip my hat to you.
Great info & images. Thumbs up
Learn &/or create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 21, 2021 9:12 PM CST
Thanks, Cal! I do like trees. And thanks for the extra acorns, too. Smiling
Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
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hiyall
Nov 23, 2021 5:19 PM CST
Thanks Laurie for pretty puzzle pic!
Thanks for interesting information and pictures of male & female cones

You opened my eyes to more seek and find on exercise nature walks!

Thank You!
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
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lauriemorningglory
Nov 23, 2021 6:21 PM CST
You are welcome, TT. Smiling

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