This section began innocently enough as a simple info blog about jujubes. But during the dormant winter periods with no live action to write about, I went back to my roots (ha!) to write more on soil, biochemistry, and soil microbiology in general. I found myself wanting to keep going, and this blog was becoming less and less jujube-specific.
Thus it made sense to restructure everything.
This blog is now The Biosphere Blog, where I will continue writing about these subjects very dear to me.
(And here is my passion project From Soil to Fruit, a combination of the two and very much a work in progress. This is where topics in this blog are arranged in a more structured book-chapter format, to be explored in far more detail.)
The Spermatophytes The spermatophytes are the seed-producing plants, of which there are two groups: the Gymnospermae which produce cones and exposed seeds, and the Angiospermae which produce flowers and seed enclosed by fruits. Gymnospermae… more »
Below is a photo of a Chico taken by Kim Sau, who has kindly given permission to use it: This tree is a perfect size to use as an exercise in identifying both the graft and all four branch types of a jujube tree, so let us begin! (Please consider this… more »
The Angiospermae Angiospermae, also called angiosperms, are the flowering plants. Flowers, when fertilised, produce fruit containing seeds. The only other seed-producing group, the Gymnospermae or gymnosperms, produce seeds in cones. Both angiosperms… more »
Introduction Jujube tree trunks and branches are, botanically-speaking, stems. A stem is one of several plant organs, and, like all organs plant or animal, is specialised for specific roles. A stem is the plant organ which provides structure and… more »
Have you ever seen these very smooth round and oval shapes in leaves before, and not known what made them? These aren’t caused by caterpillars, which produce jagged edges. These very smooth edges are the tell-tale sign (to those in the know!) of… more »
What is a Fruit? A fruit, botanically speaking, is the seed-bearing structure which develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. Last week was a brief introduction to the diverse categories of fruits that exist — with maybe a few surprising revelations… more »
Fruits Bananas, peaches, apples, watermelons, and yes, jujubes are all immediately known and recognised as ‘fruits’, and if asked what makes a fruit a fruit, one may perhaps use words such as ‘food’, ‘juicy’,… more »
Last week we covered the location of jujube tree nodes and the two types of buds present at each node. (That post has since been updated to include a crash-course description of the branch types as well.) The post ended with a summary of what each bud… more »
Nodes and Buds A ‘bud’, in botany, is a compact, undeveloped shoot which may develop into a twig/branch, leaf, or flower. The region in which buds are located is called a node, and the area between nodes is called an internode. Nodes are the… more »
UPDATE: This post didn’t make it clear at the time that these trees were handled contrary to norms in the interests of science. (Basically, I wanted photos of two years’ of root growth whilst demonstrating how tough these trees are with… more »
Last week was a brief overview of suckers, or shoots that form from adventitious buds on roots. Today I want to pick up from the Sucker Shoot Development section in that post, with more detail and some diagrams to illustrate this development more… more »
What is a Sucker? The roots of many plants and trees never see the light of day, and spend their lives pushing ever downwards and sideways in pursuit of moisture and nutrients. The roots of other species however will occasionally send up suckers, or… more »
A plant root is an organ, and last week we looked at the specialised regions along a root in a longitudinal (lengthwise) section. Today we go in at right angles and examine what is revealed by a cross-sectional cut across a root. Before doing so, a very… more »
A plant root is an organ, and like all organs (plant or animal), has specialised regions marked by specialised tissue. This post outlines these, with an emphasis on the longitudinal section (a cut along the long axis) of a young, growing root. Next week… more »
Roots — so often out of sight and out of mind — have four essential functions. They anchor a plant in the ground, they uptake water and nutrients, they store excess food, and they synthesise some phytohormones (plant hormones) and other compounds. The… more »