Mesemb seed capsules

Derek Tribble's informative and detailed display showed the seed capsules of various mesembs. Nearby was a water sprayer to mist and open the fruits. In habitat rain opens the fruits and raindrops distribute the seeds at a time when germination is more likely.

Also available was a hand lens to enable visitors to see the intricate mechanism of the capsules. Differences in these structures are important in distinguishing the genera in the family.

Right: This detail of the display illustrates the variation in size of the fruits, even between species in the same genus, (Cheiridopsis).

On the far right is  a closeup of the capsule of Cheiridopsis peculiaris, one of the biggest on display. Some idea of the complexity of the capsule structure is visible in this open fruit.

Thanks Derek.

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