Flower + Pollinator = Fruit (or Vegetable)
We've all had some kind of science class in elementary school where we learned the basics botany including plant anatomy, using a flower as an example:
Calyx = the outermost parts of a flower which protect it before it opens
Corolla = petals
Androecium/stamen = male reproductive organ
Gynoecium = female reproduction organ which contains the pistils, usually in the center of the flower
Pollen = the plant's sperms
"Ranunculus glaberrimus labelled" by Ranunculus_glaberrimus_(5384213151).jpg: Matt Lavinderivative work: Peter coxhead - This file was derived from: Ranunculus glaberrimus (5384213151).jpg:. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ranunculus_glaberrimus_labelled.jpg#/media/File:Ranunculus_glaberrimus_labelled.jpg
But usually people don't remember all of this, or give it much thought. Unless of course, you are a botanist or farmer or other plant specialist. Talking about this yesterday with one of my friends, I thought it would be fun to post some images showing how every fruit or vegetable was once a flower, then thanks to the efforts of a pollinator - a bee, butterfly or bird - eventually becomes the fruit or vegetable.
These images are photos I took last year, except for the orange blossom and fruit, since, aside from the blueberries, we don't have any other fruit or vegetable growing right now in the yard.
Dwarf Valencia orange blossom. Look at that cute, tiny pale orange that is developing in the center! I think the carpenter bees have been pollinating the orange blossoms because I always see them flying around the tree.
A Valencia orange ripening on the same Dwarf Valencia tree as the blossom in the above photo.
Marketmore cucumber blossom. The pistil in the center is just waiting for a pollinator!
... and here's a Marketmore cucumber! with another blossom developing nearby. By the way, this is a very delicious variety of cucumber with thin skin and not many seeds.
More images to come tomorrow!