9 June 2022
It usually “snows” in late May in Pittsburgh but this year it happened in early June.
On 3 June a light breeze carried snow-like fluff above Nine Mile Run in Frick Park. I found a source in this open catkin that had fallen on the trail.
Another had not fully opened before it fell.
Both came from an eastern cottonwood tree (Populus deltoides) whose leaves look like this. There are only a few of cottonwoods in the Nine Mile Run valley but their seed dispersal is prodigious.
Pittsburgh is barely inside the eastern edge of the cottonwood’s range so the trees and their fluff are not common here. Read more about them in this vintage article.
(photos by Kate St. John and from Wikimedia Commons)