seed morphology
Double embryo
By the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens on Flikr: "Germinating seed of Euonymus cornutus with unusual double embryo. Double embryos are met very infrequently, in a variety of species, by seed bank workers. Usually however the "twins" lay alongside each other. Having embryos at polar opposites is very peculiar."

Dr. Wolfgang Stuppy comments: ‘Very interesting indeed! Multi-embryo seeds are encountered in Viscaceae but are the product of several developing seeds melting into each other, as far as I know. True polyembryony is however common in Citrus spp. Apomictic plant species may produce somatic embryos from cells of the nucellus and those may indeed develop contrapolar.’

More on polyembryony

belitaross  asked:

Hello, I was wondering if you have any advice for getting started with a pemaculture garden. I have look for videos on youtube(don't have any money to buy books) and can't find anything that helps a really, really green beginner. Any help would be very appreciated

Permaculture“ is a portmanteau of "permanent agriculture,” or “permanent culture.” It can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. It is much more than a style of garden: it’s a holistic philosophy about land management and sustainability.

Personally, I have never taken a course or a certification in it, and I have also never belonged to any permaculture groups or organisations, but I would still call myself a “permaculturist,” even though I am self-taught.

All of the best free educational tools I have found are archived in the #resources, #videos, #DIY and #garden hacks archives.

I have been writing a series called #Edible Forest Gardening 101, which starts off rather simple, but gets more complex. If you are looking to try the forest garden model, that might be a good place to start. I have additional resources in the general #forest gardening archives. My practices also overlap quite a bit with the ideas of #edible landscaping, and #agroforestry, so you might also find useful information there.

If you are just getting started, I would recommend you learn about some basic topics. I try to archive everything I write and reblog so it’s like an accessible in-site library:

The first thing you need to really think about before you start your garden is your local biome. Living in accordance with your local ecology limits the amount of work you will have to do, and resources you will have to use in maintaining your space. this is called bioregionalism.

You should figure out:

  • Your USDA hardiness zone and AHS heat zone. When you are shopping for plants, this information will let you know what you can grow. Most greenhouses will mark their plants with a minimum temperature they can tolerate: if not, you can find this on the internet. Other things to consider are soil pH, light exposure, and water.
  • Your local natural biome type: is it Shortgrass Prairie? Riparian? Deciduous Forest? Tropical? Alpine? Arid? This information should also inform the kinds of plants you try to grow.
  • Your local laws and zoning ordinances; those bastards in municipal government can be real dicks about things like keeping chickens or planting trees. On a practical note, you should map out where your utilities are buried (call before you dig!)

For your first garden, I would recommend a permaculture classic that is very useful and fulfilling: this the the herb spiral. It can be easily built with salvaged materials, and provides you with all of the culinary herbs you need. It’s a good way to get your hands dirty, and to start learning about the different needs different plants have. Have a look through the archive and see if you find a design that is inspiring!

The point of permaculture is to derive the most abundance possible, with the least amount of work and disturbance of the environment. You will have a much easier time if you learn to work with nature than against her. Embrace things like birds and bugs snacking on your plants, and embrace the fact that plants die — everything has a place.

I run this blog to help people and get them excited about working with plants, so you can always write if you have a question!

The archive of the day is #germination

Click the gif to learn about the process of germination--in nature and in horticulture–including seed morphology, the soil seed bank, seed distribution by animals, seed processes like stratification and scarification, and seed dormancy strategies involving wildfires!

This is what a real geranium looks like

Those rows and rows of multi-coloured annual bedding plants that are called ‘geraniums’ in temperate-zone commercial nurseries are – botanically-speaking – actually from the genus Pelargonium.

The genus Geranium consists of 422 species that look more like the plant pictured above. Many of these are perennial, and have the common name “cranesbill,” referring to the morphology of their unique seed capsule and dispersal strategy.