Thursday, January 29, 2009
I made it to that clump of Red Cedars just at sunset. Noticing that some trees were without female cones, I bounded through a snowbank in pursuit of a male cone. No matter where I looked, I could not find even one. I checked the ground in case they'd dropped. Nada. I broke off a small branch to later assure myself that these were all Red Cedars. Sure enough, the branches were squared off nicely, indicating Red and not White Cedar.
Back home, while looking closely at my branch, I noticed some tips were browned and rather different from the greened tips. Cones! Here were the male cones! They are absolutely tiny and really just look like the end of a branch.
Now for a bit of botanical terminology. Cones are known as strobili (plural, that is). The male cone is called the microstrobilus or pollen cone, while the female is the megastrobilus, seed cone, or ovulate cone.