Here is an interesting item often found in the woods this time of year, Later in the summer you can still find them, but they will be brown and dried out.
This one is about an inch and a half across- and average size. They aren't often attached to tiny oak leaves, although this one made a nice presentation.
It also highlights the common name, oak apple gall. It sure does look like a little green apple with oak leaves!
This is a common gall, and you are likely to find them in the woods most any year. Plant galls are usually caused by the piercing of the outer layers of leaf or stem by an insect. This is usually to lay eggs.
More than one kind of insect may be the cause. The gall is the plant's response to chemicals injected at the site. All are in the family Cynipidae, commonly called gall wasps or gallflies.
When you cut open a gall, you can tell it's not anything like the inside structures of a normal plant or living animal. There is a kind of organization, but no organs or circulatory system, etc.
|See Succulent Oak Gall, Revisited|
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