Monday, November 26, 2012

Say: ho-HO-ba

Photos by Matt Ball 10/29/2012

Spent flowers from the male plant

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is another dioecious plant. Fruit above from - you guessed it - the female plant, spent flowers below from the male plant. The seed (nut) inside (in the middle, above) is high in fat. This fat is saturated (i.e., doesn't bond easily with oxygen, thus not likely to become rancid; fats like this are relatively rare in the plant kingdom) and stable at high temperatures. This fat is used commercially, most notably in place of sperm whale oil. The seeds are more or less indigestible to most mammals.

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