Friday, March 6

Boys and girls come out

Last year we had a reasonable harvest from our Kent cob.
To be honest this came as a bit of a surprise as really I never expected a harvest. 

To produce nuts the bush has to produce both male and female flowers. The males produce the pollen on long catkins. The immature catkins were already in evidence last September.
They have now matured into the long lamb's tail like male flowers loaded with pollen.
The female flowers are produced later. They are very small and to my eye look like sea anenomes.
They have no need for petals as cobnuts are wind pollinated. The male catkins are wafted by the wind releasing grains of pollen that with any amount of luck will land on the sticky outstretched stigma and pollination will occur.

Cobnuts grow in clusters.
This means that each one of those red tentacles has the potential to become a nut. So now that the boys and girls are both out let's hope that they play nicely and produce a harvest again this year.
Let's hope all the wind there has been recently has done its job.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

26 comments:

  1. Did you "go gathering nuts in May"?

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    1. I wonder which hemisphere that refers to, Mark- definitely not here,

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    2. I had to look this up! Apparently, it might reference pig nuts or ground nuts which are harvested in May! Or, it could be a corruption of Knots in May, meaning hawthorn flowers. Always learning!

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    3. Interesting - I've always wondered what that saying meant.

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    4. Isn't ground nut another name for peanut - do they grow in the UK. Actually I did grow some once indoors when I was teaching

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  2. You should have a fantastic harvest this year after all the wind we've had. The female flowers do look like sea anemones.

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    1. Unless it has blown so hard the pollen blew too far, Jo :)

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  3. I have been thinking about buying a native hedge pack for my boundary. A Cobnut is included in the variety, and this is making me think more than ever about it. Great photos too!

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    1. Is it a Kent cob - Deb?

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    2. Ah, that I cannot say, so am assuming that as you have asked the variety included might not fruit {or nut?} ? Will check that out. Thanks Sue!

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    3. They'll fruit but maybe now as well, Kent ir Kentish cobnuts are a type of hazel and I just wonder whether they are using the name to refer to native hazel. If so you could just add a couple of Kent cons as the hazel will help with pollination.

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  4. How long did it take for your tree to start producing nuts and do the trees stay a reasonable size, Sue?

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    1. We bought ours in 2011 SandD and last year was the first real harvest, It is a variety of hazel and so can be pruned hard,

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    2. Thanks - might have to source one of these for the allotment.

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  5. Replies
    1. It's good that we can introduce one another to new things Endah.

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  6. Good luck with the pollination. And that flower really does look like a little anemone.

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    1. There's been no lack of wind to hopefully do the trick Daphne.

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  7. I used to pick these nuts (which I always think of as hazel nuts) when I was a kid. The taste is so much better than that of the bought ones that it more than makes up for the smaller size.

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    1. Hi Patsy, They are hazelnuts - the Kent cob is a particular type ofhhazelnut which I think has been developed to produce better nuts,

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  8. It was very interesting reading this post and looking at the photos. I learnt about it years ago at biology lesson at school, but somehow (?) forgot all about it. :)

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    1. A refresher course then, Aga :)

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  9. What a fascinating process!!! The female parts are so alien looking, like octopus arms! Nature is amazing isn't it?xxx

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  10. Ah that's interesting sue. I've got catkins on mine but will also have a look for the female flowers.
    I was in a while food shop in the city yesterday and overheard someone saying how there'd been a bad hazel harvest in Europe last year so they're v expensive at the moment....a good time to have your own supply!

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    1. Indeed., Lou To be honest they came as a nice surprise.

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