Be Active - A Winter Walk


You might spot a low growing cotoneaster, which sheds most of its leaves in winter, but a few autumn-tinted red leaves often cling on, mixed with the rich red-coloured berries. To say that there’s no colour in winter is not true at all! If you’re interested to see a wide variety of evergreens, try visiting a formal garden, or a garden centre. You’ll be amazed at the variety of colour and form.




Some evergreens are delightfully ornamented with pine-cones which will be of various shapes and sizes. Take a close look at a pine or fir cone if you can find one. The way it grows is fascinating. The little plates it’s made up of are called scales. Cones are part of the way the tree reproduces itself. It will grow both male and female cones. The cones we tend to recognise are actually female cones. They are woody and produce seeds. The male cones are much smaller and they produce pollen. The word cone comes from the shape of the pine and fir cone, which is generally shaped like a geometric cone. Pine cones (and pine trees!) have been around for a very long time. We know this because fossil pine cones dating back millions of years have been found. Visit our Virtual Museum to find out more.



Have you noticed a flash of bright colour as you walk? Some evergreens will have berries. These will be mostly red (in the case of Holly), although there could be orange or yellow berries too – Pyrocanthus (Firethorn - below) comes in all three colours. There will be other types of berry as well. The berries are produced as a way of propagating the plants. Birds attracted to the berries’ bright colours will eat them. The seeds inside the berries will pass through the bird’s digestive system and so will be spread.




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