Saturday, November 10, 2012

How about that?! More Fruits!

Photos by Matt Ball 10/23/2012

4 seeds in this photo, 3 greenish on the left, one dried in the center; 
outer 'shell' of the pod in pieces on the right

I found these on the Esperero Trail, after crossing the road and just out of sight of the Cactus Picnic Area. The plants look like one of the bladderpods. (Gordon's Bladderpod Physaria gordonii is my guess, as I saw the flowers in the same place in the spring. If that's case, though, these fruits have either stayed on the plant quite a while - or the plant bloomed 'late'! If you know what this really is, please send me an email.) The fruits look a bit like rounded popcorn kernels.

Returning to the question from yesterday: What does a plant's DNA tell it to do? DNA is like software (or, for those of us who weren't born yesterday, an instruction manual). Plant DNA (in very general terms) tells it to make roots, shoots, and leaves (not arms, legs, and lungs). All plants have evolved from the first (successful) plant over time periods the human animal cannot begin to fathom. Our desert plants have adapted to the (over) abundance of sun and (almost total) lack of water only by means of tweaks to this original software. I'll come back to this topic later : -)

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