Introducing a new and mildly exciting feature… For years I have assiduously learned the myriad plants that festoon my daily perambulations. With no botanical background whatsoever I have continued to refer to stems as “sticks” and describe leaves as “football shaped”. I’m finally trying to address my inadequacies and I thought you might want to join me on the journey. I’ll try not to bore the bejesus out of you.
Fruits come in all shapes and sizes, not always edible. On our local trails you can find pomes like toyon or berries like chaparral currant. Today we talk about drupes.
A drupe is a fruit with an exocarp (skin), mesocarp (flesh) surrounding and a hard endocarp (shell, pit) which holds the seed. Lots of drupes you would encounter at the farmer’s market including peaches, cherries, plums, coffee beans, olives, and even coconuts. See how many you can find on your next hike.
All members of the genus Prunus are drupes:
These ceanothus cousins are both mature in the wild right now and ready for pickin’ (not particularly tasty)
Trees have drupes too. Believe it or not walnut isn’t really a nut.
Even though manzanita translates into “little apple” (apples are pomes), it’s a drupe too
Look closely, blackberry (and raspberry) are actually bunch of tiny drupes all together
Finally, these members of the Cashew family are classified as “drupe-like”, that’s close enough for me.
Enjoy the weekend Ramblerinos.