Scaled image p40.webp

Echinocereus ripe fruit     6/15/22
I decided to show you what a ripe Echinocereus fruit looks like. You're looking at ripe ovaries, each having maybe 200 seeds or more. The cracking of the fruit is analogous to what happens when you blow up a balloon. Eventually, the balloon bursts. Same thing here, but the fluid that's pumped into the fruit when the seeds are ripe is water. The fruit are split by hydrostatic pressure. There is a technical term for the splitting of these fruit - "longitudinally dehiscent". Imagine the fruit as the earth. The spent flower carcass is at the North Pole. The split in the fruit is parallel to some meridian of longitude. Hence, "longitudinally dehiscent." The "dehiscent" refers to the splitting. There are other patterns (latitudinally, basally, etc.) and the pattern is part of a correct description of the plant which you might find in a botanical key. The fruit were covered in spines a few days ago. They fell off over several days. (They can be brushed off easily if the fruit is ripe.) These spines are called "deciduous" in a proper description of the plant. I prefer to collect seeds from fruit that have split, but sometimes I have to take what's available. Often there are viable seeds in a fruit that doesn't look ripe. Viable seed are typically black, or maybe brown, in color. Note the white matrix that can be seen in the cracks, along with the black seeds. This matrix is actually what happens to the umbilical cords that connected to the seeds starting at conception and continuing to ripeness   (40/48)   

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