This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

An Explosion of Helicopters

I doubt anyone knows how or why this happens: all the silver and red maples in the region are laden with so much fruit it is hard to pick out any leaves. How can this phenomenon be coordinated among all the trees?

One client called yesterday and asked how to spell the word ‘schizocarp.’ I had always referred to the maple fruit as samaras, but I think she was technically correct, despite what you might read in Wikipedia.  Anyway, expect big messes to clean up if you own a soft maple, followed by a very thin-looking crown until later in the season.

Now that I consider it further, both terms for the fruit are correct. It starts as a schizocarp, which then divides into two samaras. Anyway, tell me that the color of the silver maple in the photo to the right would not cause you some alarm.

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