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fruits and nuts

Donna I. Ford-Werntz diford at WVNVM.WVNET.EDU
Mon Jun 29 12:26:02 EST 1998

Hi Peggy, Fruit classification is not completely clearcut, as you have
discovered.  However, a nut is botanically defined as a dry, indehiscent
matured ovary with a stony exocarp, surrounded by involucral bracts.  Some
examples are oak acorns (the "cap" is the bracts), as well as hickory and
pecan (the "husk" is the bracts).  Beware common names, though, as neither
peanuts (legumes) or walnuts (drupes) are true nuts!  Now, if that's not
enough to drive you nutty... 

Donna I. Ford-Werntz     West Virginia Univ.                                    
Herbarium Curator (WVA)  Box 6057                                               
Asst. Prof. Biol.        Morgantown, WV 26506                                   
425 Brooks Hall          (304)293-5201 X2549                                    
email: diford at wvu.edu    fax: (304)293-6363                                     
Web site at http://www.as.wvu.edu/biology/                                      

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