Spring in the Apple Orchard

The scent of apple blossoms, to our way of thinking, is the smell of spring, and much like robins, herald the beginning of a new season of life. Can you name the parts of an apple blossom? You probably learned this once in biology class, but here’s a refresher.

Apple blossoms contain pistils. The pistil is the female part of the flower and contains three parts: the stigma, style, and ovule. The ovule contains the seeds. The pollen, produced by the anthers atop the stalk of the stamen (male part of the flower), must be transferred from one variety of apple to the stigma found in the blossom of another apple variety if we are to have any apples at all.

Thankfully, our beloved honeybees know what to do. The scent produced by apple blossoms is irresistible to honeybees and other pollinators like our native bees. Once they arrive in this forest of blossoms, they begin to harvest nectar (from which apple blossom honey is made) and pick up sticky grains of pollen with their hairy legs. They then flit about from blossom to blossom. As they do, they drop off some of that precious pollen onto the stigma of another blossom, and Voila!!!!, we have pollination and a new apple begins to grow!