Friday, May 11, 2012

galls and bracts

Eriophyes tiliae tiliae is a mite that sucks on the undersides of the lower leaves of the linden tree. The mites release chemicals that form narrow, conical, spires on the top side of the leaves. These structures are called 'galls', the name of these particular ones are 'lime (linden) nail galls'. The galls are the spring, and summer homes of the mites. In late summer they retreat to the bark, and buds, and wait for the next year. Here is an English paper on Czech eriophyes tiliae.

The bract is a specialised leaf, usually at the base of a flower. Supra, the bracts are the narrow, lighter colored leaves.
Now, in the linden, they are metatopic (not in the the usual place). In the linden they are also recaulescent (attached to the stem holding the flower). When the linden flowers, the flowers form in clusters; this is inflorescence.

Now, the linden is one plant. The linden is diverse in structure, and is an organism of beauty, and wonder in nature.
linden at dusk

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