CSCH – Grocery Store Botany – Berries

CSCH – Grocery Store Botany – Berries


So if you’ve just come back from your wintertime botanizing and you’re pretty cold and tired and you just can’t stand tromping around in the foot-deep snow anymore, a great place to go to look at fruiting parts, at leaves, at stems; at all these different botanical parts, is your local grocery store. What we’re gonna look at right now, is raspberries and blackberries. Now, there’s a very distinct difference between raspberries and blackberries. So before we talk about the difference between raspberries and blackberries, let’s talk about the similarities. They’re both what’s known as aggregate fruits, which means they’re made up of an aggregate of many different parts. In this case, the little parts are called drupelets. So, a peach would be something that you would call a drupe; it’s got a hard core with a seed inside and a fleshy outside. In this case, they’re just made up of very, very, tiny versions of that. So, aggregate of drupelets is what both the raspberry and blackberry are made up of. So talking about the differences now between the raspberry and the blackberry: the main difference that you’ll see is in what’s called the receptacle. So where the receptacle, or modified, um, modified stem, you could say, of where the flowering parts usually meet on the stem That receptacle is not there in the ripened raspberry When it falls off, the receptacle stays on the plant. With the blackberry, you can see, I can’t possibly get it over my finger because the receptacle is still there. Right? It persists on the mature fruit. So it leaves the stem of the plant. So to recap – both aggregate fruits; the blackberries and the raspberries. The blackberry, you can see, the receptacle stays on, and falls off with the fruit when it’s mature. With the raspberry, that receptacle stays on the plant and you end up with this empty little cap when the fruit is finally mature.

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