- a spike of unisexual, apetalous flowers having scaly, usually deciduous bracts, as of a willow or birch.
Origin of catkin
Also called ament.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for catkin
Peridon and Catkin, and Mr. Pempton took their usual places.
Fenellan, Mr. Pempton, Peridon and Catkin, lunched and chatted.
The female flowers are also in a sort of catkin, and four or five together.Botany for Ladies
Catkin killing was very severe in both orchards and only those varieties which had a few live catkins are listed.
The Taylor every year sets a bunch of young nutlets, but I have never yet seen a catkin on it.
- an inflorescence consisting of a spike, usually hanging, of much reduced flowers of either sex: occurs in birch, hazel, etcAlso called: ament
C16: from obsolete Dutch katteken kitten, identical in meaning with French chaton, German Kätzchen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for catkin
1570s, from Dutch katteken "flowering stem of willow, birch, hazel, etc.," literally "kitten," diminutive of katte "cat" (see cat (n.)). So called for their soft, furry appearance.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A long, thin, indeterminate inflorescence of tiny, petalless flowers growing on willows, birches, oaks, poplars, and certain other trees. The flowers on a catkin are either all male or all female. The female flowers are usually pollinated by the wind. Also called ament See illustration at inflorescence.
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