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Flower Anatomy & Pollination

In addition to being beautiful, flowers play a central role in the life cycle of most plants; they contain reproductive structures which develop into the fruit and nuts we eat. Although all flowers have a common function, anyone who has visited a florist knows that they vary widely in shape, size, and color. Variation in the internal structures within a flower is less obvious, but has substantial impacts on plant reproduction and characteristics of fruits and seeds. For example, many of the differences between a pear and peach fruit are determined by subtle variation in the structures contained within flowers.

It is necessary to have an understanding of floral and fruit anatomy to evaluate the costs and benefits of common orchard management practices (for example renting bee hives) used to increase production in California tree fruit and nut crops.

This section explores three broad themes to illustrate the costs and benefits of orchard management practices and variation among popular tree fruit and nut species.

Theme 1: The relationship between floral anatomy, pollination, and orchard design.

Theme 2: Morphological changes associated with pollination, fertilization, seed development and fruit development.

Theme 3: Link between vegetative tissue development, flower development, and pruning and training practices.