Friday, June 24, 2016

Grocery Store Botany on My Mind

The Strawberry Full Moon means that it is prime strawberry picking time! But if a berry is a fleshy fruit formed from a single ovary that has multiple seeds then the strawberry is NOT a berry at all! The tasty part of the strawberry is not formed from the ovary. It is formed from the receptacle which is the thickened part of the stem from which the flower organs grow.  That makes a strawberry an accessory fruit. And what's with the strawberry wearing its seeds on the outside? Well, those "seeds" are actually small dry, hard-walled fruits called achenes. So because the strawberry is formed from one flower with multiple ovaries it is also an aggregate fruit. But wait! There's more! A watermelon IS a berry!

Summer is also the time for another favorite fruit - watermelon! Watermelon is a special type of berry called a pepo. Pepos have with a hard thick rinds. 

So, to recap: 
Strawberry - not a berry. 
Strawberry "seeds" - fruits.
Watermelon - berry.

And now you know!

Did I forget to mention that the moon is made of green cheese?

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