Assynt is definitely starting to bloom and one of the more obvious trees at this time* is the European Larch, Larix decidua. Just a little bit of sun and its fresh, bright green leaves seem to glow.
Larch is in the same family as Sitka Spruce, Scots Pine, Lodgepole Pine, etc. However, it is a deciduous coniferous tree and its needle-like leaves drop in the autumn creating a brilliant yellow-orange carpet.
The male flowers, which form on the underside of individual shoots, are small clusters of creamy coloured anthers. The female flowers, often referred to as ‘larch roses’ comprise flower-like clusters of pink, green or white scales and they grow at the tips of shoots.
After being wind pollinated the female flowers ripen and become brown cones which then produce seeds. The seeds can be a good source of food for several bird species.
*This post is from our Facebook page of 12 April 2019