infloresence

—-I’m trying to consolidate all my botany posts from the other blog. Sorry for the filler —–

It’s botany time!  Today we’re looking at dogwood from Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, BC.  I think it may be a Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii), which happens to be the provincial ‘flower’ of BC.  Why do I call it a ‘flower’, you ask? 

Flower’s are reproductive structures that typically include sepals, stamens, petals and pistils.  In this case, what we actually see is a cluster of tiny, inconspicuous little flowers in the centre, surrounded by 5 white, showy modified floral bracts. Rather than making one big giant flower, dogwoods aggregate many little flowers into one larger structure that together act to attract pollinators.  This type of floral arrangement (aka inflorescence) is called a head and found in many other plants, such as the sunflowers and daisies we looked at last week. Go teamwork!