fruits and nuts
monique at bio.tamu.edu
Mon Jun 29 14:59:34 EST 1998
How is a walnut not a nut? I was taught--and teach--that the outer layer of a
walnut is fused bracts, not pericarp, and that a walnut *is* a nut...
(don't get me started on Brazils, pistachios, and almonds...)
>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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