Monday, June 16, 2008

What Gall!

On our trip to North Carolina, we noticed a variety of galls. Galls are, according to Wikipedia, abnormal outgrowths of plant tissues and can be caused by various parasites, from fungi and bacteria, to insects and mites.

Look at all the curly growth on this cherry branch. A fellow hiker told us these galls were caused by mites.


These below were on different kinds of oak trees and look similar to each other but very different from the those on the cherry.

100_2936 100_2938

On another white oak, we found the most interesting of all:


These were of the punk rocker variety. 8^)


Further up the trail, we found a sign. (And yes, we believe in signs!)


High up on top Pisgah Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we found galls, too. These were on the flame azaleas. These were cold and wet to the touch. Though on different plants of the same variety, it was hard to know if we were looking at the same kind of gall at different stages of maturity or not.


100_2998 has lots of pictures of other various forms of galls.

We also learned from this site that the resins and tannins in galls are used for inks, dyes, and tanning (probably not in salons!) And that the larva is used as a survival food and as fishing bait. Guess we weren't THAT hungry.

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