A type of flowering shoot (see racemose inflorescence) in which the axis, which is often long, bears many small stalkless unisexual flowers. Usually the male catkins hang down from the stem; the female catkins are shorter and often erect. Examples include birch and hazel. Most plants with catkins are adapted for wind pollination, the male flowers producing large quantities of pollen; willows are an exception, having nectar-secreting flowers and being pollinated by insects.
Subjects: Biological Sciences.