Nature girl's picture

Fluffy seed

Observed: 1st May 2011 By: Nature girl
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
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The footpath and surrounding vegetation were carpeted in this white fluffy seed. Looks a bit like that of a dandelion, but without the actual seed. I'm doubtful that dandelions or related plants could produce this much seed though so I'm thinking this is more likely to be from a tree of some description. My best guess is a poplar, but maybe willow. Any ideas?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Poplar (Populus) interacts


Refugee's picture

More pictures.

We all need pictures of the trees above the path and we will be able to tell if it is one of the trees you have already suggested...


anonymous spotter's picture

This looks -

like our street after the crack willows recently shed their seeds. But Refugee is right - we'd need to know what is growing around to be able to say with any confidence.

BDeed's picture


Looks rather silky to me, does anyone think its possible it might be from some invert. larvae of some sort? We have seen pictures on here of caterpillars covering whole trees or and graveyards with something similar..


Although saying that image 2 does look very seed like..

Nature girl's picture

Thanks for your comments

The trees above the path were a mixture of holly, wild plum, oak, hazel and some other small deciduous. I didn't see any willow trees around, but thinking about it now I do remember seeing a row of tall, straight trees a few fields away which I'm guessing were poplars. So the seed could have blown from there perhaps. Although, I would have thought that it would have been more likely to come from some of the trees around the path as there was so much of it. How much seed can poplars produce?!

I did think at first that it might have been the work of the bird cherry ermine moth, but there was no sign of caterpillars or any other inverts. so it's definitely from a plant.

John Bratton's picture

The top right picture - isn't

The top right picture - isn't that a willow? Or maybe it is blackthorn.

Nature girl's picture

It does look a bit like Salix

It does look a bit like Salix caprea, but I think it's actually Prunus cerasifera, which has hairless glossy green twigs.