What Is a Fruit in Relation to Plant Structure in the Angiosperms

What is a fruit? This question is always asked in association with another question “What is a vegetable?”

These questions are repeatedly asked and without doubt, will be asked over and over again.

The reason is that the word fruit has many meanings based on various criteria. It can refer to a part of a plant, a type of tree or crop, or a particular food item.

As to vegetables, there is a special classification called fruit vegetables which refers to crops in which botanical fruits are harvested primarily for use in culinary preparations, such as tomato and squash.

Indeed, based on common usage, fruits refer to the plant structure having sweet, edible portions and generally consumed raw as contrasted to vegetables which refer to edible plant parts which are generally consumed cooked but some in raw form as a salad.

Read more

What Is a Flower, Common Uses and Misuse of the Word

Alright class, draw a complete flower showing its parts.

That was the instruction of a teacher who gave a surprise quiz to assess the basic learning of his students about plant structures.

To his surprise when he checked the papers, some drew a potted mature plant complete with the parts of the shoot from trunk to blossoms. It elicited a grin, nonetheless.

On second thought, it should not be a surprise.

Read more

The Advent of the Angiosperms: Why Are They Important?

The angiosperms or true flowering plants are presently the most dominant plants on Earth, comprising more than 95% of all existing plants (embryophytes or land plants).

They also represent most of the agricultural and food crops (Kesseler and Stuppy 2009; Simpson 2010).

It is just proper therefore that this group of plants is accorded special concern.

These plants consist largely of monocotyledons and eudicots.

Combined, they comprise 246,000 described species, equivalent to 97% of all angiosperms as of 2010 (Simpson 2010).

Mathematical derivation indicates that there are more than 250,000 species of angiosperms.

These flowering plants exhibit wide diversity.

They occur in various sizes, forms, growth habits, life spans, and habitat preferences.

Their sizes range from less than 1 mm in diameter, as in the smallest flowering plant Wolffia, to more than 90 meters or 300 feet in height as in the eucalyptus trees of Australia.

Wolffia is a water surface dweller and produces the smallest flowers.

Although orchids may not appear so extraordinary, they produce seeds that can be less than 0.2 mm wide (waynesword.palomar.edu 2012), the smallest seeds.

Read more

Self-pollination and Cross-pollination, Other Types of Pollination and Agents of Pollination

Various types of pollination occur in seed plants.

As to plant-to-plant pollen transfer, two types exist self-pollination and cross-pollination.

Classification has also been made according to agents of pollination.

Having a sufficient understanding of these pollination mechanisms is important in crop agriculture.

Knowing the normal mode of pollination of any crop can accelerate crop improvement works because plant breeding methods are pollination type-dependent.

Proper cultural management practices, such as in relation to pests and diseases control and biodiversity, can be identified to favor populations of animal pollinators.

The process of pollination precedes fruit and seed formation in the angiosperms and seed formation in the gymnosperms.

Both fruits and seeds perform functions in plant reproduction. In particular, the seeds serve as the major, immediate, direct progenitors of new plants.

In addition, many agricultural crops are grown for the primary purpose of producing either fruits or seeds or both.

Read more