30 October 2009

Sticky berries

There are a number of yew trees in the school grounds.  At this time of year, they are decorated with bright red berries. 


Sticky bright red berries, as I found when I accidentally trod on one.  Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

closer still

Can you see the dark seed tucked inside the red fleshy outside part?  When I picked apart one of the berries to remove the seed, we saw that it is the red part covering the seed that is so sticky. 


Sticky berries get stuck to things (apart from my shoe and my fingers!)  Things perhaps like the beaks of the birds that find them so tasty.  Birds who then fly off elsewhere and try to rub the stickiness off…..


and in so doing, ensure that the seed is taken to somewhere far from its ‘parent’ tree, to a place where it might eventually be able to grow.

Which takes us to something else rather puzzling.  Look up here.




What you see is a tree with another plant growing on it.  That plant is called mistletoe, and once the flowers have finished, there are lots of white berries.  Berries with seeds inside them.


Sticky white berries with seeds inside them.  Now, can anyone think how a mistletoe plant might find its way to the top of an apple tree?

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