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Gray Birch Catkins (Betula populifolia).  A cluster of flowers that forms a long, skinny, caterpillar-like shape is called a "catkin."  Catkins are typical of aspens, willows, oaks, birches, butternuts, and walnuts.  Male catkins are about an inch long.  Small seeds, or samaras, that make up catkins are about 1/8 of an inch long (Cook, B.).

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes