“Hello, Mr. Cactus.”

“Is it all right if I call you Mr. Cactus? I’ve never spoken to a cactus before, and I wouldn’t want to be im-po-lite. Did I say it properly? Granny taught me that word. She says it means ‘rude’. Why can’t I say ‘rude’ then? She says I’m a very rude little boy.”

“Granny is always angry with me. I want to be a good little boy, I really do, even if I’m not that little anymore, but I never make it. Granny says that I’m a bad little boy and that she has to punish me.”

“Hello again, Mr. Cactus. I can’t speak much now. It hurts.”

“Hello, Mr. Cactus. I’m better now, so I can speak again. I don’t know what to say, though.”

“I wish I was with Mom and Dad. Granny says they’re in a better place now. I wish I was in a better place. Granny says I’m a bad, bad little boy for wishing that. It’s disrespectful to God, she says. I should be very very grateful to God for sparing me and not sending me to Hell, because that’s where all the bad little boys go. This way, at least I have the chance to become good and not go to Hell, if I pray all the time and do as Granny says. I pray to God Granny wouldn’t hurt me so much, but she still does it. Do you think it’s a bad thing to pray for?”

“Granny says it’s my fault she hurts me. She says, if I was a good little boy, she would never hurt me. She’s a God-fearing woman and doesn’t hurt good little children, which means I’m really, really bad. Did I say God-fearing right? Granny says I never speak properly, but how can I when she keeps hitting me?”

“I… Are you still there, Mr. Cactus? I can’t see you well. I can’t see anything well. May I touch you?”

“You are a cactus, if I may say that. How come you didn’t prick my finger when I touched you? I wouldn’t mind, really. It would mean you were still there, and that’s all I wanted to know. I’m grateful you let me touch you and didn’t prick my finger, I really am, I just don’t understand. I wish I could understand you. You’re my only friend.”

“I’m so happy I can see you again, Mr. Cactus! May I hug you?”

“How come you didn’t prick my face when I hugged you? Are you a special cactus?”

“Granny says I have to sleep here, because I’m a bad little boy. I’m not so little! Although, if it means I may sleep in your room, I don’t mind.”

“Good morning, Mr. Cactus. Did you move?”

“Hello, Mr. Cactus. I… Granny says I have to go. I’m a bad little boy and I can’t stay with her anymore. Do you know where she’s sending me? She says they will finally teach me discipline and put the fear of God into me. I don’t know what it means. Do you? Will I see you there? Will I… Will I ever see you again?”

“Mr. Cactus, it’s Granny. I know it’s a stupid thing to say, you know it’s Granny, but… It’s Granny.”

“Mr. Cactus? You’re the best! You really are! I don’t have to go now, do I? I can stay with you forever!”

“Um, Mr. Cactus? How do I move Granny? I know I should, she smells really bad, but how do I do it?”

“Oh. It’s easier now. Thank you, Mr. Cactus.”

Source by Ivana Milakovic

Fruits are the ripened ovaries of plants. A flower blooms, is fertilized and seeds produced inside the ovary. The tissue surrounding the ovary is called a pericarp and may be edible as is the case with apples or hard and dry as is the case with nuts. A simple fruit means one flower produces one ovary which results in one fruit. Succulent fruits have edible flesh surrounding the seeds or in the case of stone fruits the pit. Dry fruits do not. For example, an apple is a simple succulent fruit. Beans and peas are simple dry fruits. Raspberries have one flower leading to multiple ovaries. They are aggregate fruits. Multiple fruits are the result of flowers that have fused. Pineapples are an example of multiple fruits.

Drupes

Drupes have an edible part, usually the fleshy interior and an inedible part, the hard covering of the seed. This is sometimes called a pit or stone. Cut open the peach and you’ll find the pit. Break the pit open by slipping a knife between the two halves and you’ll find the seed. Other examples of simple succulent drupe fruits are mangos, cherries, plums and olives. Most drupe fruits are sweet and used fresh, frozen or canned. However, olives are processed before preserving. Green olives are olives that haven’t ripened yet. Black olives are ripe olives.

Pomes

Pomes have small seeds in the interior of the fruit. The seeds are surrounded by the pericarp. When you cut an apple in half you can see the membrane that surrounds the core with the seeds. Apples and pears are examples of simple succulent pome fruits. Apples are eaten fresh, processed, frozen and a major source of juice.

Citrus

Oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are considered hesperidium fruits. A leather-like skin encloses the edible flesh and seeds. Citrus fruits are mostly little sacks of juice rather than a firm flesh like an apple.

Berries

It might surprise you to know that not only is a tomato a fruit, it’s classified as a berry. a berry is a pulpy fruit. All of it is edible. Tomatoes come in other colors besides red, including pink, yellow, orange, ivory, chocolate and green when ripe. Size ranges from tiny grape-sized fruits to giants weighing several pounds. Other berries include blueberries, grapes and elderberries, currants and gooseberries.

Fruits Classified as Vegetables

Many of what cooks classify as vegetables are actually fruits. Simple succulent vegetables include cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash and pumpkins. The hard casing, or skin, surrounding the flesh is the pericarp.

Source by Dee Power

Cactus Adaptations

Environments like deserts, dry areas, and semi-barren regions receive less rainfall than other parts of the country, making water scarcity a common problem in these areas. The plants which inhabit these environments have had to adapt to these conditions in order to survive. Desert plants-known as xerophytes-are most often succulents that have reduced, thick leaves. Apart from a few exceptions like Rhodcactus, all cacti are succulent plants. There are some specific cactus adaptations which enable cacti to survive in harsh environments.

The most important cactus adaptations are the ones that allow them to conserve water, such as having reduced leaves. Reduced leaves means reduced surface area, whether by making leaves shorter and thicker, or longer and thinner. This means less water is lost to the atmosphere through evaporation. We know that this is an evolutionary adaptation because of what we see under the microscope. Some other species of cactus have microscopic phloem, xylem and stomata, just like non-succulent plants. There are also ephemeral leaves in some of the cactus species, but these leaves don’t last for long during the early development stages of the stem. Opuntia Ficus-indica (prickly pear cactus) is an excellent example of cactus species which has ephemeral leaves as a result of evolution.

Spines for Cactus Adaptations

Some cactus adaptations include spines which let out less water during transpirations then leaves. Spines grow from specialized structures called areoles, and defend the cactus from water-seeking animals. A few members of the spine-cactus family have rudimentary leaves which fall off once the cactus has matured. There are two genera called Pereskiopsis and Pereskia which retain large and non succulent leaves and even non succulent stems.

Cactus Adaptations through Stems

There are cactus plants that have adaptations such as enlarged stems which carry out photosynthesis and store water. These species of cacti (known as succulents) are coated with a waxy substance coated that prevents water evaporation. It helps prevent water from spreading on the surface, instead forcing water down the stem and into the roots. Cacti have hard-walled, thick succulent stem which stores water when it rains and keeps water from evaporating. The stem is basically fleshy, green and photosynthetic, and the inside of the stem is either hollow or spongy tissue to hold water.

Source by John J. James