From Flower to Fruit
In the springtime,
apple trees become covered in apple blossoms. In order for
the blossoms to become apples, they must be cross-pollinated.
This means that the pollen from one flower must travel to another
before fertilization can occur. The creatures responsible
for this important task are bees.
When bees travel from
blossom to blossom they collect pollen. Pollen is made by
the stamens of the blossom. The bee drops pollen from the
stamens of one blossom onto the pistils of another blossom.
The pollen travels from the sticky tips of the pistils - called
the stigma - down a long tube known as the style and enters the
ovary. It is at this point that fertilization occurs.
ovules within the ovary can become apple seeds.
After fertilization occurs and seeds begin to develop, the petals
from the blossoms fall off. Next, the ovary starts growing.
The ovary is surrounded by a thin protective layer. This
layer eventually becomes the core line - or apple core.
The outer layer surrounding the ovary becomes the exocarp, or
the eating part of the apple. The calyx, stamens, and pistils
become the dry, hairy part at the bottom of the apple.
Back to Table of Contents!