Fruits of the Preserve

See, I did have a more clever title,  just a week too late.  Thanks for those of you who answered, congratulations to the Divine Miss Sarah T for her continued excellence in the field of plant identification.

June you were oh so close, but my inadvertent clue, “I’ve seen all of these in the last four months,” should have tipped you off that Toyon:


Was the odd man out.  These don’t start ripening for another two months.  Toyon fruits are “pomes,” like apples or loquats.  All pomes are from the Rose family.  Pears are also a pome, however prickly pears:


Are berries believe it or not.  Out of the whole quiz there were only five true “berries.”  The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced by a single flower and containing one ovary (though potentially many seeds).  Avocados, grapes, peppers and tomatoes all fall into the berry category.  Two of our five true berries are from the Gooseberry family, which includes the spiny gooseberrys (of the fuchsia-flowered variety):


And the spineless (though not cowardly by any means) currants:


Snowberry, elderberry and honeysuckle, respectively, are all cousins from the Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle) family.  Honeysuckle


and snowberry


fruits are berries.  Elderberry however


is a drupe, remember drupes?  Well you should, because redberry:


Holly leaf cherry


And coffeeberry


Are all drupes.  A drupe is a fruit which has a fleshy outer layer which surrounds a hard stone, or pit, which contains the seed.

The two cousins in the Cashew (Anacardaceae) family are not cool enough to be drupes.  Both basket brush:


And sugar bush


Are considered by the esteemed folks over at UCLA to be merely “drupe-like.” Scientists love nothing more than slapping an obscure, latin-derived mouthful to describe every last characteristic and facet of every single plant, animal or fungus in the kingdom.  Yet they can’t come up with anything more exciting than “drupe-like.”



This entry was posted in Mystery plant, Native Plants, Ojai and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fruits of the Preserve

  1. says:

    Very informative. Thanks. And, yes, couldn’t they just go with “drupey?”

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