WB01343_.gif (599 bytes)     Flowers-Fruits & Seeds Lab    WB01345_.gif (616 bytes)

The purpose of this lab is to help you understand the basic anatomy of flowers, fruits & seeds and to make the conceptual links between them.

This lab will be a little different from others because we will have a lot of demonstrations of macroscopic and microscopic specimens which are related.

I am going to group things in Families as much as possible. This does NOT mean that these specimens are the most representative for that family. Family groupings may, however, help you understand and remember the structural connections between the Macroscopic and Microscopic.


When you examine Flowers you should try to see the following.

Flower Organs: Note the presence or absence of Sepals, Petals, Stamens and Carpels.

Determine the Floral Symmetry (Actinomorphic vs Zygomorphic)

Look for Coalescence and Adnation.

Determine whether the Flowers are Hypogynous, Perigynous or Epigynous.

Determine whether the Placentation is Marginal, Parietal, Axile or Central.


Due to the various developmental stages of fruits available, it may not be possible to determine all of the below from lab specimens. Illustrations in this document and from your lecture pages should help to fill in the missing data.

Note whether the Fruits are Simple, Aggregate or Multiple.

Determine whether the fruits are Fleshy or Dry at maturity.

Are they Dehiscent or Indehiscent?

Are the fruits Accessory?

Specifically identify the Fruit Type.


Examine the Seed Coat and note the presence of Sclereids.

Locate the Cotyledon(s) and/or Endosperm.

Note the Primary Storage Products (Only for specific DEMOS)

Locate the Embryonic Axis with its Root & Shoot Apical Meristems and note the locus of Cotyledon attachment.

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

ErythrinaSandFirCarr.jpg (104980 bytes)
Erythrina sandwichensis wiliwili
BauhiniaGalpiniiFlrCarr.jpg (40671 bytes)
LegRedFace240.jpg (14090 bytes)
Erythrina Flowers
LegumAndroGynoSidebySide.jpg (76848 bytes)
Androecium & Gynoecium from Erythrina sp.
LeucaenaOvaryXSLab500.jpg (129598 bytes)
Leucaena Flower Cross-Section - Locate the Flower Organs!
LeucaenaCarpelLS200OViewLab.jpg (44630 bytes)
Leucaena Carpel longitudinal Section
LeucaenaOvule300Lab.jpg (75049 bytes)
Leucaena Ovule
BeanOvaryOvuleLab.jpg (131202 bytes)
Cross-Section through a Bean Ovary
BeanSeedLong300Lab.jpg (121788 bytes)
Long-Section through a Bean Seed
LimaBeanFruSeed240.jpg (8040 bytes)
Typical Immature Legume Fruit

Examine Mature Examples of a Legume Fruit!

BeanSeedXSCoty300Lab.jpg (149799 bytes) BeanSeedXSEpi400Lab.jpg (112627 bytes)

Cross-Sections through a Bean Seed at different levels

BeanSeedFunLowMag500Lab.jpg (109711 bytes) BeanSeedFunCloseLab500.jpg (108149 bytes)
Funiculus of Bean Seed
LegSeedBIODLab.jpg (149065 bytes)
Dissect a Hydrated legume Seed & identify the Major Structures

ErythrinaSandSeed.jpg (16398 bytes)
Seed from Wiliwili

MacroSclerEtc.jpg (52462 bytes)
Examine Macerated Seed Coats of Pea (Pisum) and identify the types of Sclereids present.

Solanaceae (Tomato/Potato Family)

SolanumDulcFlrs450Crop.jpg (77859 bytes)    NightshadeFruits240.jpg (58031 bytes)
Deadly Nightshade!!!!!!!!

BrugmansiaPlantOver.jpg (54390 bytes)
is called Angel's Trumpet. If you partake of this plant you will hear the real Angel's Trumpet!! Most members of this Family are highly TOXIC!!!
DaturaFlower240.jpg (21521 bytes)
Flower similar to that of Burgmansia: Locate the External and Internal Flower Parts.

DaturaFlrLongSecMacroStamen240.jpg (5003 bytes)

TomatoFlrL-S.jpg (138487 bytes)
Long-Section of a tomato Flower Bud: Locate the relevant parts!
DaturaStamenCorollaMacro240.jpg (16622 bytes)
TomatOvaryL-S240Lab.jpg (88455 bytes)
Tomato Ovary Long-Section
DaturaTomatoFlrsMicroMacroLab.jpg (109161 bytes)
Comparison of Macroscopic & Microscopic views of Solanaceous Flowers
DigitalisX-SWholeFlr.jpg (41581 bytes)
Flower Cross-Section
DigitalisX-SMostFlrLab.jpg (101424 bytes)
Cross-Section through the Anthers and Stamens.
Observe the microsections of Tomato Ovaries!!!!!
BellPeper.jpg (39309 bytes) TomatoFruit240.jpg (19178 bytes)
Guess What!!!!!!

Rutaceae (Citrus Family)

CitrusFlowers.jpg (37895 bytes)
Citrus Flowers &

Young Fruits ->
CitrusFlrFruit.jpg (46730 bytes)
CitrusFlrLSMicro240Lab.jpg (65762 bytes)
Citrus Androecium & Gynoecium Long-Section

CitrusFlrXStyleAnthBord500Lab.jpg (115323 bytes)
Citrus Flower Bud Cross-Section at the level of the Anthers

CitrusOVXS2400-500LabOvLoc.jpg (101371 bytes)
Cross-Section of a Citrus Ovary

CitrusFlrXSOvLtColr600Lab400.jpg (102021 bytes)
Cross-Section of a Citrus Flower Bud at the level of the Ovary

Look at the Microscopic Slide of Citrus ovary X-Sec.!!!

CitrusGreenFruit.jpg (40256 bytes) OrangeFruitCSMacro.jpg (41356 bytes)
Guess What!!!!!!!!!

Papaya (Carica papaya)

PapayaYngFlrFru300Lab.jpg (110351 bytes)
Papaya Flowers & Fruits
CaricaPapayaFlr.jpg (37561 bytes)
Papaya Flower
PapayaFrYoungMature.jpg (126699 bytes)
Papaya Fruits
PapayaFruLSMicroLab300.jpg (117586 bytes)
Papaya Gynoecium: Long Section
PapayaFruMacroXSLab.jpg (108955 bytes)
Cross-Section of a Mature Papaya Fruit
PapayaFruMicroLab.jpg (146489 bytes)
Microscopic View of an Immature Papaya Ovary with Parietal Placentation.

Guava (Psidium guajava) Myrtaceae

GuavaFlrLSLab450.jpg (105897 bytes)
Guava Flower Long Section
GuavaOvaryLSMicroOvLab.jpg (150267 bytes)
Long Section through a Guava Ovary: The outer part of the fruit comes from the Hypanthium.
EugeniaOvaryLSDrawCropColor.jpg (19643 bytes)
Eugenia Flower Ovary & Fruit
GuavaGreenFruitLab.jpg (48326 bytes)
Immature Guava Fruit
GuavaFruYellowCrop.jpg (57101 bytes)
An Accessory Fruit if ever I saw one!
EucalyptusFlrFruCrop.jpg (138048 bytes)
Eucalyptus Flowers & Fruits
MetrosiderosPolyFlr.jpg (125516 bytes)

Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family)

CucurbitaFlrYellowjpg.jpg (71415 bytes)

CucurbitaFlrFruLSMacroCarrLab300.jpg (77165 bytes)
Cucumber Flowers & Fruits
Cucumber-1-Lab.jpg (160662 bytes)Cucumber-2-300-Lab.jpg (170170 bytes)
Cucumber-3-300-Lab.jpg (146518 bytes)
Cucumber Ovary Long Section:
H = Approximate location of the Hypanthium
CucurbitaGynoLongSecLab.jpg (109455 bytes)
CucumberFruitXSMacroLabHypanth.jpg (61893 bytes)
This is an Accessory Fruit
CucurbitaOvaryXSMicro.jpg (89704 bytes)
Cucumber Ovary Microscopic Cross-Section: This has Axile Placentation
CucumberFlrFruMacroLab500.jpg (72136 bytes)
A highly invasive member of this family
CucumberFruitXSMacroLab.jpg (65712 bytes)
Placentation can be Parietal or Axile
This is an example of an Accessory fruit due to the fusion of the Hypanthium with the Pericarp.

Liliaceae & Agavaceae

liliaceaeFlrChlorophytum.jpg (104816 bytes)
A Typical member of the Liliaceae: Note the Tepals & Superior Ovary.
DianellaSandwichensisLab.jpg (121565 bytes)
Dianella sandwichensis

(uki uki grass) was an important plant for ancient Hawaiians. They used its leaves to make Twine that was used to tie thatch to their houses.

LilyFlowerX-SLab.jpg (114257 bytes)
Cross-Section of a Lily Flower Bud

LilyOvaryXS400Lab.jpg (111890 bytes)
Cross-Section of a Lily Ovary
LilyFruLab.jpg (109383 bytes)
Lily Capsule
LiliaceaeFruitBrodiaeaLab.jpg (103382 bytes)
Dehiscent Capsule of Brodiaea with Seeds
EmbLilyEndoOverview240Lab.jpg (97069 bytes)
Immature Lily Embryo inside a developing Seed:
EmbLilyEndoCarToonLab.jpg (141886 bytes)
Cartoon of a Mature Lily Embryo in a Seed: ES = Endosperm, R = Root, SAM = Shoot Apical Meristem
CrinumAsiaticumFlrs.jpg (140975 bytes)
Crinum Flowers have an Inferior Ovary
AgavePlantFlrsCarr.jpg (175574 bytes)
Agave with an Inflorescence
AgaveYelFlrs500.jpg (305806 bytes)
Agave Flowers
AgaveYelFlrs500CropLab.jpg (185235 bytes)
Agave Flowers also have an Inferior Ovary
TiFlrFruCarr.jpg (170482 bytes) TiFlrsCarr.jpg (123711 bytes)
Hawaiian ti is also in the Agavaceae

Malvaceae (Hibiscus Family)

HibiscusFlr240.jpg (27830 bytes)

StigmaHibiscus240.jpg (55025 bytes)
HibiscusStamensSunLab400.jpg (87010 bytes)
View Cross-Section of Cotton Ovary!!!
CottonFruYoung250Lab.jpg (84494 bytes)
Cotton Immature Fruit
CottonCapsuleSplit.jpg (16551 bytes)
Cotton Mature Fruit: Find the Seeds!!!

CapsuleMalvaceae240.jpg (47179 bytes)
Capsule Malvaceae

Asteraceae (Composite Flowers)

SunflowerFieldCrop.jpg (163548 bytes)      AsteraceaeDiagsLab.jpg (106264 bytes)

YellowFlrHoriz240.jpg (46355 bytes)
Composite Inflorescence
Erigeron.jpg (89896 bytes)
Erigeron Flowers
SFlwrReceptacleLSMacro.jpg (140428 bytes)
Long Section through a Composite Inflorescence
ErigeronLowMagMicro.jpg (12776 bytes)
Long Section of Erigeron Inflorescence
DiskFlrDiag240Stigma.jpg (47183 bytes) ErigeronHIMagMicroLab.jpg (85108 bytes)
Erigeron Disk Flowers
StickTights.jpg (166042 bytes)
Fruits with pointed Stigmas
DiskFlrDiag240LabOvOv.jpg (49118 bytes)
SeedSunFlrMagLab.jpg (56075 bytes) CypsellaBIODIDAC.jpg (57235 bytes)
Sunflower Fruit
HesperoenniaArbuscula.jpg (228550 bytes)
Hesperoennia arbuscula: A Rare Hawaiian Endemic
ArtichokeFlrCarr.jpg (219584 bytes)
Artichoke Inflorescence

Cereal Fruit

CornCobXS300Lab.jpg (86734 bytes)
Cross Section of a Mature Corn Cob with Mature Fruits!!!!

CornFruDrawBIODLab.jpg (90860 bytes)
Diagram of a Corn (Zea mays) Fruit: PC/Testa = Pericarp/Testa, CN = Cotyledonary Node, SAM = Shoot Apical Meristem, RAM = Root Apical Meristem
WheatCaryopsis120Lab.jpg (21721 bytes)
Wheat Fruit Long Section
AleuroneWheatLab-2-Lab.jpg (109183 bytes)
Outer part of a Wheat Caryopsis: Note the Aleurone Layer and the Pericarp. The Seed Coat is fragmented and occupies the nearly empty space between the Aleurone and the Pericarp. The Light Blue areas in the Endosperm contain Storage Protein. The smaller, cream-colored organelles are Amyloplasts which store starch.
WheatEmb240Lab.jpg (97781 bytes) WheatEmbLab.jpg (124648 bytes)
Wheat Embryo: CR = Coleoptile, RCap = Root Cap, RAM = Root Apical Meristem, CN = Cotyledonary Node, SC/PC = Seed Coat/Pericarp, CT = Coleoptile, S = Scutellum, EN = Endosperm
Examine Commercial Slides and Specimens stained with IKI and Sudan.

Multiple Fruits
We will use Noni, Pineapple and Breadfruit to illustrate Multiple Fruits

NoniPlantPrint300.jpg (60154 bytes)
Noni Branches: Locate the Inflorescences along the stem at the Node.
NoniYngFlrs-2.jpg (173304 bytes)
Noni Inflorescences: The flowers are closely inserted on the Receptacle
NoniFlrsNoFru180.jpg (30007 bytes)
NoniOverFlrFru.jpg (38264 bytes)
Noni Young Inflorescence and Nearly-mature Fruit
NoniMatureFru240.jpg (25657 bytes)
Noni Mature Fruit: Each Yellow Circle indicates one Flower that has contributed to this Multiple Fruit
PineapplePlant.jpg (52348 bytes)
Pineapple Plant that has resumed Vegetative Growth after it has formed an Inflorescence.
PineappleYoung.jpg (45868 bytes)
Young Pineapple Fruit: The showy red structures are the bracts which subtend each flower.
PineappleFruOutsideLMacro.jpg (75366 bytes) PineappleFruLSMacro.jpg (40815 bytes)
Whole & Sectioned Pineapple Fruits. The fruits on the bottom were allowed to uptake a water-soluble stain for a long time.Each Segment of the Fruit has developed from its own Flower
PineappleVascularSyst.jpg (82423 bytes)
Pineapple Whole and Long Section showing the complexity of its Vascular System which is revealed by a dye. Locate the Flowers and the Receptacle!
Jackfruit.jpg (63221 bytes)
BreadfruitMaleFemale400.jpg (82257 bytes)
Breadfruit Staminate and Carpellate Inflorescences. each is composed of highly reduced Staminate or Carpellate Flowers
ArtocarpusStamFlrs.jpg (161489 bytes)
Breadfruit Staminate Flowers
ArtocarpusCarpFlrs.jpg (206845 bytes)
Breadfruit Carpellate Flowers

Types of Placentation

PlacentaBIODIDACLab600.gif (30533 bytes)
The most Common Types of Placentae
LeucaenaCarpelLS200OViewR.jpg (45681 bytes)
Leucaena - Marginal Placentation
ParietalPlacentMicro400Lab.jpg (94703 bytes)
Parietal Placentation
AxilePlacenLab400.jpg (90340 bytes)
Axile Placentation
PlacenCentral-1-Lab.jpg (110062 bytes)
Central Placentation

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