What plant is that?

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Sweet Gale --female flowers
Sweet Gale --male flowers Sweet Gale -- nutlets
Photo credits: © Francis R. Underwood 2020

The mystery plant for January, 2020 is a small shrub found on pond edges, bogs and other wetlands.  It flowers in April and May.  The plant is dioecious with staminate and  pistillate flowers in catkins which are usually on separate plants.  The female flowers are quite attractive with long red stigmas. These flowers develop fruit in the form of a cluster of nutlets. The male flowers composed of stamens are borne on cylindrical catkins. The leaves are alternate, toothed near the apex, and have minute yellow glands on both top and bottom surfaces that give the leaves their unique scent. The twigs are covered with yellow glands. This shrub grows along pond edges and other wetland areas.

It’s. . .

Botanical Name:
Myrica gale
Common Name:
  Sweet Gale
  Myricaceae (Wax Myrtle family)
  Pond edges, swamps and other wetlands