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Weeds that invade places all over the world. But did you know that the seed of the dandelion, the thing that you have fun blowing off, is a fruit? Achenes are small fruits containing single seeds which nearly fill the fruit cavity. The seed coat doesn't stick to the "fruit wall." In our backyards, achenes are the fruit-type of the huge composite family, which includes sunflowers, daisies, dandelions, dahlias, zinnias, coreopsises. Buttercups, in the buttercup family, shown at the right, also produce achenes. In the picture "A" at the top of course is the buttercup flower showing five petals, many stamens, and in the flower's center there are many separate pistils. "B" shows a flower after it has been pollinated. All but one of the yellow petals have fallen off, just a few stamens remain, and the pistils are growing . "C" shows a head of achenes. Later the achenes will drop off independently. If the achenes stuck together to form a berry-like fruit, the fruit would be considered an "aggregate fruit," considered on another page. At the left is one of the best-known examples of the achene-type fruit. It's the fruiting head of a Dandelion. You can barely see inside the fluffy head dozens of brownish achenes. Atop each achene is a white "parachute" that carries the achene away when you or the wind blow on it.
http://www.backyardnature.net/frt_simp.h... - Want to see more info about fruit? You may be surprised at what you find!