30 Days Wild, Day 3 – Sycamore in summer

It felt like time for another visit to the tree I’m following today for #30DaysWild. It feels like midsummer under the canopy and the understorey vegetation is changing in response to the changing light. The bluebells really are over now and are setting seed.

Shade-tolerant wood sorrel now covers the woodland floor and bracken and male ferns are nearly unfurled.

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New shoots of ivy identify themselves by their fresh, bright green leaves – it’s easy to see how the sycamore’s fissured bark provides a good anchorage for them.

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The flowers on the tree are more or less finished now and a few tiny ‘helicopter’ fruits are starting to form. You can still see the cork-screw remains of the stigma down which pollen tubes grew to fertilise the ovules on the youngest helicopters, along with a ring of anthers beneath the developing seeds.

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Slightly more mature helicopters have lost the stigma and anthers and you can already see the fault line down which the fruit will eventually split in two.

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