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Diplopia

There’s a few general facts that we state when orienting people to the anatomy of an Echinacea. To list a few:

1.) An echinacea head is not a flower, but in fact a composite of many florets, each of which have the full anatomy of a miniature “flower”

2.) Each floret produces an achene, regardless of whether or not it is pollinated.

3.) Each achene may be empty, or may contain exactly one seed.

Now, the medically inclined or Latin-speaking flog readers may see where I’m going with this based off of the title. What if I told you that, as of today, we know that one of these three facts is no longer absolute?

For the first time ever, we have found an achene that contains two seeds.

Twins!

Normally, we xray achenes to see whether or not the have seeds in them. In this xray, all achenes pictured have seeds in them except the one in the bottom right which has, well, two! This exciting new discovery will shake the world of plant science.

(Also, to put this in consumer terms, imagine breaking open a sunflower seed shell, and two seeds pop out!)

Hopefully we’ll have more earth-shattering discoveries to share soon! For future reference: this is letno DT-6858 from 2013

Michael

 

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