Can you believe it is 40°F in June? It was sooooo cold today, for a minute I thought it was snowing. Then I realized it was the cottonwood seeds, what I think normally as the first sign of summer in mid-Michigan!
Cottonwoods can be either male or female. It is the fluffy white seeds produced by the females during early summer that give the tree its name. [Cotton for clothing comes from the true cotton plant (Gossypium sp.), not the cottonwood tree.] The seeds are only a couple millimeters long, which is quite remarkable considering that they can become one of the largest trees in North America, up to 100 ft. high with massive trunks over 5 ft. in diameter.