Sunday, April 5, 2009

what are these?

We ventured down to Eugene this weekend and visited Greer Gardens and Gossler Farms both were great and was fun to visit (more pics tomorrow). At Greer Gardens there were several oak leaves laying on the ground with these crazy pods attached to them. When you "popped" them there was sort of a hairy business inside. Anyone know what they are?

5 comments:

  1. Looks like an oak gall. Here's some info from a source online: http://www.jmu.edu/biology/k12/galls/oakapp.htm

    "Oak apple galls are sometimes mistaken for an actual crop of the tree, such as apples on on apple tree, but are actually deformed leaves. The gall is about 1 1/4- 2 inches or larger in diameter, globular, and smooth. The outside is green and darkens with age. The inside has a juicy, white, spongy substance with a small, hard center where the parasite is located. When the parasite leaves the gall, the gall dries and the insides become a mass of fibers. Several species of gall wasps cause oak apples."

    By the way, DG, what happened to your friendly Name/URL option on your comment field? Now I have to use my Google acct to comment, which doesn't allow me to leave my link. :-(

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  2. Funny you should mention these gardens now. I'm thinking of going to Gossler Farms this week, and I've never heard of Greer Gardens, but I'll have to check it out while I'm down there, so good timing.
    I've never seen these oak galls before, but I looked them up, it's pretty interesting. Insects lay their eggs in the leaves, and the hormones make the oak leaves grow this protective shell. Pretty amazing.

    P.S. I have seen this on a few blogs before, but I have trouble posting comments. I can't post comments from Mac Safari, I have to use Firefox, and can only use Google Account, not open ID. Not a big deal but thought you'd want to know if other commenters are having trouble.

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  3. Thank you ladies! My husband will be glad to know he was right. One of the nursery employees told us that it was a seed pod that the tree naturally produced. We were pretty sure that was wrong.

    Also thank you for the heads up about the ease of commenting issue - I wonder what's up. I will look into it. I haven't changed anything recently but who knows. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have the trouble again!

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  4. BTW my husband reminded me that the employee who told us they were seed pods identified himself as "the office guy" - he was out strolling and enjoying the weather. He claimed little actual plant knowledge.

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  5. Good to know he wasn't one of their plant staff!

    Yikes!

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