At 7:00 PM -0500 11/15/97, Claudia Smith wrote:
>Hi This is my first tiem to post. I am a second year biology student at
>Loyola in New Orleans. I love plants and plan to do something with
>plants when I grow up. Right now for class I need a very unsuall
>fruit. I live in the New Orleans so it has to be something I can get
>easily. I need it for class Wednesday. If you can help me out please
>e-mail me. Thanks Kelly
I'm not sure whether your fruit needs to have
something special about it and "water transportation"
(the subject line of your message)? Your local
food store probably have some very unusual fruits
in one section of the produce area. Certainly
there ARE some strange fruits in stores today that
are imported from all over the world.
Your southern Magnolia trees have lovely aggregates
of follicles...a little walk might turn up one of
these in New Orleans...maybe shedding its seeds!
=46inally, many people don't know this but, an ear
of corn is actually a huge infructescence. Each
kernel is one fruit (ovary wall with contained seed),
and the "silk" on an ear of corn is the style and
stigma. If you open the husks carefully, you will
find that each kernel has one silk attached to it!
The combination of kernel and silk represents a single
carpel and a simple pistil!! The "perianth" parts of
the flower form some filmy structures at the point of
attachment of the kernel to the "cob". Thus each
kernel came from one flower in a huge inflorescence.
The flowers are unisexual (all are female). The tassel
of the corn plant (at its top) is made of usually all
male flowers. If you could visit a local farm and
find a tassel with a kernel developed on it (it DOES
happen rarely) you could bring that it as a very
You could look at many "vegetables" and demonstrate
that they are fruits from a botanical point of view.
A green bean is one, a watermelon, a squash, a cucumber,
etc. are yet other examples of botanical fruits (ovary
wall plus contained seeds)!
Ross Koning | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA | fax: 860-465-4479
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