Yew Sperm, Coming Soon

Our bank of false yew, Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Brooklyn Gardens’ is ready to release its pollen, aka: conifer sperm. Conifers grew up before flowering plants were invented, so they can’t rely on insects like bees and butterflies to assist them with sex. In the old days, plants depended on wind to assist with sex, so surviving conifers still use that outdated and relatively inefficient method today. That inefficiency is why they need to produce such a large amount of pollen. These lovely male cones will soon be releasing puffs of yellow in the hopes of impregnating some nearby females. Since the genus is typically dioecious, (male and female clones), we haven’t told them that they are no females nearby. The next time you see a gust of pine or other conifer pollen in spring, don’t think badly of them, since they’re only looking for love.

Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Brooklyn Gardens’
Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Brooklyn Gardens’ close up of male cones

2 thoughts on “Yew Sperm, Coming Soon”

  1. Ernie Redeman

    Oh my, another unsatisfied male-that’s not fair.Tony, you need to find this guy(the plant) a mate.

  2. Charles Miller

    Thanks for the ‘garden humor’ Tony,
    Haha, “The next time you see a gust of pine or other conifer pollen in spring, don’t think badly of them, since they’re only looking for love.”

    In my case, each spring in Raleigh NC when the pine pollen blows like snow, and fills the air and coats houses, cars and gardens with its fine yellow dust, I’m thinking of that old country song by Johnny Lee, “Looking for Love” [in all the wrong places]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EWqH7WjVag

    Greg

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