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Is the bur of a cocklebur really a fruit?

This may seem like a simple enough question. Of course, a cocklebur is a fruit, right? Well, it's a bit more complicated than that.


Image source: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2497162

The common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) has prickly round egg-shaped structures (sometimes referred to as porcupine eggs). Each of these prickles has hooks on the end allowing them to stick to clothing and hair like velcro.


Image source: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30782793

Most people will see prickly structures and assume they are the fruits, but this is not the whole story. As it ...more ↓

Posted on August 14, 2019 06:00 by nathantaylor nathantaylor | 10 comments | Leave a comment
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Flowers get all the publicity, but the intent of the flower is to create the seed. Here we turn our attention to seeds and the business of making them -- seeds, fruits, and associated parts of seed-bearing plants are fair game. See the Terms And Rules for more detail about the scope of the project.
Flowers and other plant features are useful for plant recognition and identification, and ...more ↓

Mini ellen5 created this project on August 27, 2016

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