Growing the Desert Garden

Welcome to the Desert Garden, with garden coach Tyler Storey, where we talk about everything having to do with gardening and landscaping in the Desert Southwest. From composting to Cercidium and agaves to arugula — we'll cover everything you want to know to grow your own beautiful Desert Garden.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stop-Action Quince, Part 2

Quince week 5 © Tyler Storey

In this week's installment of our ongoing quince saga, you will have noted immediately that the blossom, at the aptly named blossom-end of the quince, has faded and turned brown over the course of the past week; not much else has changed.

We use the term blossom end as a convenient way to describe the end of a fruit opposite the stem. For the quince, that's also accurate; the quince has what is called an inferior ovary, meaning the ovary is behind the blossom and the blossom, as you can see in the picture, stays on the end of the fruit as the fruit grows behind it. Other fruits have what's called a superior ovary, meaning the ovary is in front of the petals. If you have a citrus tree in your garden, look closely as the fruit is first forming and you'll see that the petals are at the stem end of the fruit until they fall off; citrus blossoms have a superior ovary.

In any event, blossom end is the conventional term for describing the far end of a fruit. Blossom-End Rot is the name of one of the tomato fruit pathologies most common in the Desert Garden, even though the tomato, like the citrus, has a superior ovary. A few days ago I discovered that several of my tomatoes had blossom-end rot; knowing that it's not really the blossom end doesn't make it any less annoying.


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