What are these caterpillar-like things on my hazelnut tree?
February 5, 2005 7:25 PM   Subscribe

I have a hazelnut tree. Each year at this time, the tips of the branches extrude 2-3 inch long caterpillar-like growths which drop off. What are these called, and what is their function? This is undoubtedly a simple question which many can answer, but nevertheless hard to google.
posted by Neiltupper to Science & Nature (3 answers total)
Where google fails, Wikipedia reigns.

They're catkins, basically, flower clusters, for reproduction. They set pollen into the wind.
posted by eriko at 7:35 PM on February 5, 2005

I would guess that they are flower buds, based on what I know about walnut trees. Where they fall off, is that where the nuts grow?

On preview, what eriko said.
posted by cali at 7:35 PM on February 5, 2005

Your post makes it sound so wonderfully alien. I'll have to look up some photos.
posted by ori at 1:38 AM on February 6, 2005

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