Four photos of flowers: the new favorite of the garden disguised as litchi

  After experiencing the scorching sun of midsummer, when the footsteps of autumn approached us, the various wild fruits bred between the mountains and ridges began to show us their beautiful faces. My Weibo ushered in the second time of the year full of questions: Can this orange-like fruit be eaten? Can the fruit that look like red dates be eaten? The fruit on the tree looks exactly like a fig, can it be eaten? Suddenly a series of questions about “Can you eat it? Is it delicious? How to eat it?” (“Three Eats” for short) appeared in my mind. This seems to have become the first reaction of humans when they encounter wild fruits. This is probably the influence of human genes. .
  Before answering these questions, I need to remind everyone not to taste wild fruits at will, because many wild fruits have hidden murderous intentions, such as Masang which looks like mulberries, and Mango fruits which look like mangos. Poisonous fruit.
  Fortunately, the fruits of certain plants that have been misidentified do not have powerful lethality, and there are even sweet and sour and delicious juices. The protagonist of this article, Si Zhaohua, possesses such familiar but strange flowers and fruits. .
East Asia and North America are very different

  The 10 species of plants of the genus Sizhaohua (all classified as Cornus in the new classification system) are distributed in China. The most common Sizhaohua has become the new favorite of horticulture.
  In fact, most friends know Si Zhaohua from their beautiful flowers. In the spring garden, Si Zhaohua is a very conspicuous flower. Each flower has four large white petals, like countless small windmills hanging on the branches. The name Sizhaohua also comes from this.

  If we look closer, we will find that those eye-catching white “petals” are not real petals, but bracts. The real flowers of Sizhaohua are actually the structures that we usually think of as stamens.
  The petals of the four photos are usually only a few millimeters long, and the real stamens are hidden in these tiny flowers. All the plants of the genus Tetraflora have such characteristics, so they also become their identifying characteristics.
  Relatively speaking, the brothers of Sizhaohua-American Sizhaohua (also included in the dogwood genus) has long been a frequent visitor in the garden, and these plants with beautiful bracts will be released before the leaves grow. My own beauty, among them, there are some red and pink varieties of Dahua Si Zhaohua, which adds a lot to the performance. If China’s Si Zhaohua is implicit and introverted, then the performance of the American Si Zhaohua is much more passionate and unrestrained.

  In nature, plants that rely on bracts to attract insects are not uncommon. The benefits of this are obvious. Different small flowers can share markers that attract insects. This is equivalent to gathering small restaurants in a large food center, and eventually the cost of attracting customers can be diluted, and everyone can get benefits. How can those plants that have gone through hundreds of millions of years of natural selection and are well versed in the input-output ratio do not understand the truth.
  The most typical bracts used as petals are Yuye Jinhua. The white jade leaf resembles the shape of the leaf, and veins-like patterns can be seen on it. However, these bracts have long given up the ability to carry out photosynthesis, and instead used to attract insects to pollinate. Small flowers with golden petal lobes on the top of the bracts will share such bracts to attract distant insects to their sides. This is very economical and practical for Yuye Jinhua. Doing the most things with the least cost is also one of the important laws of nature.

The white ones are the bracts of Sizhaohua

  Coincidentally, the petals of calla lilies are inflorescence bracts. Their main function is to protect the young flowers before the flowers open. After the flowers open, they fall off without a sound and merge into the earth. However, some involucres (the abnormal leaves that are born under the inflorescence or each branch of the inflorescence or under the base of the pedicel are called bracts, and they are called involucres when multiple bracts form a ring shape and closely surround the inflorescence). They started “part-time jobs”-they took the petal business to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Among them, the most representative are calla lilies and other Araceae plants. Their involucres are rolled into a large petal, which can not only shelter the small flowers from wind and rain, but also attract pollinating insects.
  In addition, the involucre of many Araceae plants rolled into a barrel can maintain a constant temperature, which provides suitable conditions for the development of flowers on the one hand, and attracts small insects that are afraid of cold on the other hand. When it is used as a hotel, you will get pollen on your body, and when you stay on other flowers the next night, you will bring the pollen to the landlord to complete the important task of spreading pollen.
Fruit disguised as lychees

  If it is the first time you have seen the fruits of Sizhaohua, 80% will regard them as lychees. Because no matter from the color or the shape, the fruit of the Sizhaohua looks like a lychee, so the Sizhaohua also has the name of the mountain litchi. However, the fruit of Sizhaohua has a completely different structure from that of litchi.
  Every lychee we eat comes from an ovary or a single carpel of a flower, so it is called a single fruit, while a fruit of Si Zhaohua is composed of fruits produced by 40-50 flowers. Therefore, it is also called compound fruit, and this kind of compound fruit composed of multiple flowers fused into one fruit is also called polyflower fruit.

The involucre of the calla lily rolled into a large petal

Each jackfruit petal is a separate small fruit

  Around us, there are many flowers and fruits that resemble Si Zhaohua, such as jackfruit. Each jackfruit petal is a single small fruit, but the fleshy part we eat is not their skin, but the tepal, which is structurally equivalent to the petals of a lily. There is a thin layer of pulp like autumn clothes on the outside of the seeds, and that is the real peel.
  In addition to Sizhaohua and jackfruit, there are also typical representatives of Juhuaguo are pineapple and mulberry. In the past, when eating pineapple, many small holes or grooves were always dug in the pineapple, but now when eating pineapple, this procedure seems to be simplified. To explain this clearly, we have to start with the structure of the pineapple. When we ate pineapple, we didn’t eat anything like peach pit or apricot pit. This is because pineapple itself is not a simple fruit, but a flower-gathered fruit composed of many fruits. Of course, what we like to eat is not the seeds, but the undeveloped ovary of these small flowers and the inflorescence axis that supports these flowers (the round, hard pillar in the center of the pineapple). The reason why we have to dig on it is to remove the remaining stamen structure in these holes, otherwise it will spit the throat.

Each pineapple is composed of many fruits.
Counterfeit lychees can make wine

  In other words, although the fruit of Si Zhaohua resembles lychee, the edible part is not as sweet and juicy as lychee. At best, it is a wild fruit that can increase the excitement of outings.
  However, the Sizhaohua fruit contains a lot of sugar. If enough fruits are collected, it can also be brewed into fruit wine or fruit vinegar. However, this kind of brewing is not an act that can be played at will, so let’s keep a good imagination.
The origin of dogwood

  Sizhaohua is called “dogwood” in English, which is directly translated as dogwood, which is not commensurate with the beautiful fruits and flowers of Sizhaohua. In fact, this is the result of a misinformation. Originally, Si Zhaohua was called “dagwood” because it could provide hard wood. “Dag” is an abbreviation of the word “dagger” (dagger). But in the process of long-term spread, it was misread as “dogwood”, and it has been spread to this day.
Knowledge link

  Dendrobenthamia and the Americas Dendrobenthamia difference
  fruit is the key distinguishing feature of Dendrobenthamia Dendrobenthamia and the Americas. Each flower of the American four-photo flower produces a small fruit, and the small fruits of the four-photo flower merge together. In simple terms, the infructescence of the American four-photo flower is like a bunch of balloons, and the infructescence of the four-photo flower is like a large fusion balloon.