Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nuts! - Random Trivia Answers

To understand the answers to this week's random quiz, begin with this set of botanical definitions:
  • fruit - The mature ovary of a seed plant. {An egg that can produce a new plant.}
  • seed - The ripened ovule, consisting of the embryo and its proper coats. {The part of the fruit that actually produces the new plant.}
  • nut - A dry, hard indehiscent single-celled and single-seeded fruit, though usually resulting from a compound ovary. {"Indehiscent" means that nuts don't come out of their shells on their own.}
  • legume - A dry, single-celled fruit of the Leguminosae, formed of a simple pistil, and usually dehiscent by both sutures and often grouped in a long pod. {"Dehiscent" means that legumes come out of their pods easily.}
  • drupe - A fleshy or pulpy fruit with the inner portion of the pericarp (single-celled and single-seeded, or sometimes several-celled) hard or stony. {A specific type of fruit which bears tryma, not nuts.}

It's definitely very confusing, but no worse than the fruit vs. vegetable debate!

  • A1) Nuts. Acorns are the nuts from an oak tree but are too bitter for human consumption.
  • A2) Neither. Almonds are the seeds of a drupe.
  • A3) Neither. Brazil nuts are the seeds from a capsule that can contain from 8 to 24 seeds.
  • A4) Neither. Cashews are seeds that hangs from the bottom of the cashew apple and lacks a hard shell.
  • A5) Nuts. Chestnuts, from chestnut trees, should not be confused with Horse Chestnuts, which are toxic and inedible, or Water Chestnuts, which are root vegetables.
  • A6) Neither. Coconuts are unusually large seeds, which will germinate even when sitting above the ground.
  • A7) Nuts. Filberts are both a type of hazel tree and their edible nuts.
  • A8) Legumes. Garbanzo beans come in pods containing two or three seeds.
  • A9) Legumes. Peanuts are legumes which are pollinated above ground but grow underground.
  • A10) Neither. Pecans, which come from a deciduous tree that is a type of hickory, are the seeds of a drupe.
  • A11) Neither. Pine nuts are the seeds of several species of coniferous trees.
  • A12) Neither. Walnuts, like almonds, pecans, and pistachios, are the seeds of a drupe.

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