Can anyone identify this seed or nut?

Can anyone identify this seed or nut?

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I found many of these nuts in a botanical garden in Sweden (outside, not in a greenhouse) but was unable to find the plant it belonged to. The garden has species from all over the world. I don't recognize it as a native plant, but I could be wrong on that.

I've tried to use various identification webpages to find it, but failed. I would love to know the species, so that I can get more info on the plant and its seeds! The Bic lighter is there for scale.

The nuts (or seeds, or whatever they are) are very hard, like a peach stone or other drupe stones.

This is a crosspost from Reddit where no-one has answered the post(yet).

Can anyone identify this seed or nut? - Biology

The mature ovule develops into the seed. A typical seed contains a seed coat, cotyledons, endosperm, and a single embryo (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The structures of dicot and monocot seeds are shown. Dicots (left) have two cotyledons. Monocots, such as corn (right), have one cotyledon, called the scutellum it channels nutrition to the growing embryo. Both monocot and dicot embryos have a plumule that forms the leaves, a hypocotyl that forms the stem, and a radicle that forms the root. The embryonic axis comprises everything between the plumule and the radicle, not including the cotyledon(s).

Practice Question

What is of the following statements is true?

  1. Both monocots and dicots have an endosperm.
  2. The radicle develops into the root.
  3. The plumule is part of the epicotyl
  4. The endosperm is part of the embryo.

The storage of food reserves in angiosperm seeds differs between monocots and dicots. In monocots, such as corn and wheat, the single cotyledon is called a scutellum the scutellum is connected directly to the embryo via vascular tissue (xylem and phloem). Food reserves are stored in the large endosperm. Upon germination, enzymes are secreted by the aleurone, a single layer of cells just inside the seed coat that surrounds the endosperm and embryo. The enzymes degrade the stored carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, the products of which are absorbed by the scutellum and transported via a vasculature strand to the developing embryo. Therefore, the scutellum can be seen to be an absorptive organ, not a storage organ.

The two cotyledons in the dicot seed also have vascular connections to the embryo. In endospermic dicots, the food reserves are stored in the endosperm. During germination, the two cotyledons therefore act as absorptive organs to take up the enzymatically released food reserves, much like in monocots (monocots, by definition, also have endospermic seeds). Tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and pepper (Capsicum annuum) are examples of endospermic dicots. In non-endospermic dicots, the triploid endosperm develops normally following double fertilization, but the endosperm food reserves are quickly remobilized and moved into the developing cotyledon for storage. The two halves of a peanut seed (Arachis hypogaea) and the split peas (Pisum sativum) of split pea soup are individual cotyledons loaded with food reserves.

The seed, along with the ovule, is protected by a seed coat that is formed from the integuments of the ovule sac. In dicots, the seed coat is further divided into an outer coat known as the testa and inner coat known as the tegmen.

The embryonic axis consists of three parts: the plumule, the radicle, and the hypocotyl. The portion of the embryo between the cotyledon attachment point and the radicle is known as the hypocotyl (hypocotyl means “below the cotyledons”). The embryonic axis terminates in a radicle (the embryonic root), which is the region from which the root will develop. In dicots, the hypocotyls extend above ground, giving rise to the stem of the plant. In monocots, the hypocotyl does not show above ground because monocots do not exhibit stem elongation. The part of the embryonic axis that projects above the cotyledons is known as the epicotyl. The plumule is composed of the epicotyl, young leaves, and the shoot apical meristem.

Upon germination in dicot seeds, the epicotyl is shaped like a hook with the plumule pointing downwards. This shape is called the plumule hook, and it persists as long as germination proceeds in the dark. Therefore, as the epicotyl pushes through the tough and abrasive soil, the plumule is protected from damage. Upon exposure to light, the hypocotyl hook straightens out, the young foliage leaves face the sun and expand, and the epicotyl continues to elongate. During this time, the radicle is also growing and producing the primary root. As it grows downward to form the tap root, lateral roots branch off to all sides, producing the typical dicot tap root system.

Figure 2. As this monocot grass seed germinates, the primary root, or radicle, emerges first, followed by the primary shoot, or coleoptile, and the adventitious roots.

In monocot seeds (Figure 2), the testa and tegmen of the seed coat are fused. As the seed germinates, the primary root emerges, protected by the root-tip covering: the coleorhiza. Next, the primary shoot emerges, protected by the coleoptile: the covering of the shoot tip. Upon exposure to light (i.e. when the plumule has exited the soil and the protective coleoptile is no longer needed), elongation of the coleoptile ceases and the leaves expand and unfold. At the other end of the embryonic axis, the primary root soon dies, while other, adventitious roots (roots that do not arise from the usual place – i.e. the root) emerge from the base of the stem. This gives the monocot a fibrous root system.

Seed Germination

Many mature seeds enter a period of inactivity, or extremely low metabolic activity: a process known as dormancy, which may last for months, years or even centuries. Dormancy helps keep seeds viable during unfavorable conditions. Upon a return to favorable conditions, seed germination takes place. Favorable conditions could be as diverse as moisture, light, cold, fire, or chemical treatments. After heavy rains, many new seedlings emerge. Forest fires also lead to the emergence of new seedlings. Some seeds require vernalization (cold treatment) before they can germinate. This guarantees that seeds produced by plants in temperate climates will not germinate until the spring. Plants growing in hot climates may have seeds that need a heat treatment in order to germinate, to avoid germination in the hot, dry summers. In many seeds, the presence of a thick seed coat retards the ability to germinate. Scarification, which includes mechanical or chemical processes to soften the seed coat, is often employed before germination. Presoaking in hot water, or passing through an acid environment, such as an animal’s digestive tract, may also be employed.

Depending on seed size, the time taken for a seedling to emerge may vary. Species with large seeds have enough food reserves to germinate deep below ground, and still extend their epicotyl all the way to the soil surface. Seeds of small-seeded species usually require light as a germination cue. This ensures the seeds only germinate at or near the soil surface (where the light is greatest). If they were to germinate too far underneath the surface, the developing seedling would not have enough food reserves to reach the sunlight.

Synonyms for nut

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  • flake ,
  • fruitcake ,
  • head case ,
  • kook ,
  • nutcase ,
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  • [ British slang ] ,
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  • zany

Identification of QTL with large effect on seed weight in a selective population of soybean with genome-wide association and fixation index analyses

Background: Soybean seed weight is not only a yield component, but also a critical trait for various soybean food products such as sprouts, edamame, soy nuts, natto and miso. Linkage analysis and genome-wide association study (GWAS) are two complementary and powerful tools to connect phenotypic differences to the underlying contributing loci. Linkage analysis is based on progeny derived from two parents, given sufficient sample size and biological replication, it usually has high statistical power to map alleles with relatively small effect on phenotype, however, linkage analysis of the bi-parental population can't detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are fixed in the two parents. Because of the small seed weight difference between the two parents in most families of previous studies, these populations are not suitable to detect QTL that have considerable effects on seed weight. GWAS is based on unrelated individuals to detect alleles associated with the trait under investigation. The ability of GWAS to capture major seed weight QTL depends on the frequency of the accessions with small and large seed weight in the population being investigated. Our objective was to identify QTL that had a pronounced effect on seed weight using a selective population of soybean germplasm accessions and the approach of GWAS and fixation index analysis.

Results: We selected 166 accessions from the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection with either large or small seed weight and could typically grow in the same location. The accessions were evaluated for seed weight in the field for two years and genotyped with the SoySNP50K BeadChip containing >42,000 SNPs. Of the 17 SNPs on six chromosomes that were significantly associated with seed weight in two years based on a GWAS of the selective population, eight on chromosome 4 or chromosome 17 had significant Fst values between the large and small seed weight sub-populations. The seed weight difference of the two alleles of these eight significant SNPs varied from 8.1 g to 11.7 g/100 seeds in two years. We also identified haplotypes in three haplotype blocks with significant effects on seed weight. These findings were validated in a panel with 3753 accessions from the USDA Soybean Germplasm Collection.

Conclusion: This study highlighted the usefulness of selective genotyping populations coupled with GWAS and fixation index analysis for the identification of QTL with substantial effects on seed weight in soybean. This approach may help geneticists and breeders to more efficiently identify major QTL controlling other traits. The major regions and haplotypes we have identified that control seed weight differences in soybean will facilitate the identification of genes regulating this important trait.

Keywords: Fixation index analysis GWAS SNP Seed weight Selective population Soybean.

Botanical Interests Seed Catalog

Botanical Interests has a virtual and printed seed catalog that lists all the seeds they sell including flower, vegetable, herbs, and organic seeds.

Those who live in the United States and Canada can request a free Botanical Interests seed catalog.

Tree Nut Allergy

Tree nut allergies are among the most common food allergies in both children and adults. The six tree nut allergies most commonly reported by children and adults are allergies to walnut, almond, hazelnut, pecan, cashew and pistachio.

Approximately 50% of children that are allergic to one tree nut are allergic to another tree nut.¹ Approximately two-thirds of patients reactive to cashew or walnut will react to pistachio or pecan, respectively. Most children who are allergic to one or more tree nuts do not outgrow their tree nut allergy.

When a person with an allergy to a particular tree nut is exposed to that tree nut, proteins in the nut bind to specific IgE antibodies made by the person’s immune system. This binding triggers the person’s immune defenses, leading to reaction symptoms that can be mild or very severe.

In the U.S., plain-language labeling on packaged foods is required for 18 different tree nuts. These tree nuts are not the same as peanut (only 40% of children with tree nut allergies have an allergy to peanut), which grows underground and is a legume related to beans and peas. Tree nuts are also different from seed allergens such as sesame, sunflower, poppy and mustard, which do not grow on trees.

Research shows over 2% of the pediatric population is affected by allergies to tree nuts, and many will carry these allergies into adulthood.²

Tree nuts can cause a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Allergic reactions can be unpredictable, and even very small amounts of tree nuts can cause a serious allergic reaction.

If you have a tree nut allergy, keep an epinephrine injection device with you at all times. Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis.

To prevent a reaction, it is very important that you avoid all tree nuts and tree nut products.

If you’re allergic to one type of tree nut, you have a higher chance of being allergic to other types. For this reason, your doctor may recommend you avoid all nuts. You may also be advised to avoid peanuts because of the higher likelihood of cross-contact with tree nuts during manufacturing and processing. These issues should be discussed and further evaluated by your allergist and specific allergy testing may be warranted.

Tree nuts are one of the eight major allergens that must be listed in plain language on packaged foods sold in the U.S., as required by federal law, either within the ingredient list or in a separate “Contains” statement on the package. For tree nuts, the specific variety must also be identified on the package. This makes it easy to see if tree nuts are present in a food item.

Avoid foods that contain tree nuts or any of these ingredients:

  • Almond
  • Artificial nuts
  • Beechnut
  • Black walnut hull extract (flavoring)
  • Brazil nut
  • Butternut
  • Cashew
  • Chestnut
  • Chinquapin nut
  • Coconut
  • Filbert/hazelnut
  • Gianduja (a chocolate-nut mixture)
  • Ginkgo nut
  • Hickory nut
  • Litchi/lichee/lychee nut
  • Macadamia nut
  • Marzipan/almond paste
  • Nangai nut
  • Natural nut extract (e.g., almond, walnut—although artificial extracts are generally safe)
  • Nut butters (e.g., cashew butter)
  • Nut distillates/alcoholic extracts
  • Nut meal
  • Nut meat
  • Nut milk (e.g., almond milk, cashew milk)
  • Nut oils (e.g., walnut oil, almond oil)
  • Nut paste (e.g., almond paste)
  • Nut pieces
  • Pecan
  • Pesto
  • Pili nut
  • Pine nut (also referred to as Indian, pignoli, pigñolia, pignon, piñon and pinyon nut)
  • Pistachio
  • Praline
  • Shea nut
  • Walnut
  • Walnut hull extract (flavoring)

Some Unexpected Sources of Tree Nuts

Allergens are not always present in these food and products, but you can’t be too careful. Remember to read food labels and ask questions about ingredients before eating a food that you have not prepared yourself.

Tree nut proteins can be found in some surprising places, such as cereals, crackers, cookies, candy, chocolates, energy bars, flavored coffee, frozen desserts, marinades, barbeque sauces and some cold cuts, such as mortadella.

Ice cream parlors, bakeries, coffee shops and certain restaurants (e.g., Chinese, African, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese) are considered high risk for people with tree nut allergy. Even if you order a tree nut-free dish, there is high risk of cross-contact.

Tree nut oils, such as walnut and almond, are sometimes used in lotions, hair care products and soaps.

Crushed walnut shells may be used in “natural” sponges or brushes due to their durability.

Some alcoholic beverages may contain nut flavoring, so consider avoiding these as well. Because these beverages are not federally regulated, you may need to call the manufacturer to determine the safety of ingredients such as natural flavoring.

Coconut, the seed of a drupaceous fruit, has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with a tree nut allergy. However, in October 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began identifying coconut as a tree nut. Medical literature documents a small number of allergic reactions to coconut most occurred in people who were not allergic to tree nuts.

There is only one documented case of someone reacting to coconut oil, and there are no documented cases of reactions to shea nut oil or butter. Therefore, it would be extremely rare for someone to react to one of these.

Argan oil is derived from the nut of the argan tree and has rarely been reported to cause allergic reactions. While it is not a common food in the U.S., you will often find it in Morocco.

People with cashew allergy may be at higher risk for allergy to pink peppercorn (known as Brazilian Pepper, Rose Pepper, Christmasberry and others). This dried berry (Schinus, related to cashew) is used as a spice but is different from standard black pepper and fruits with “pepper” in their name (e.g., bell peppers, red peppers or chili peppers).

An allergy to tree nuts tends to be lifelong. Research shows that about 9 percent of children with a tree nut allergy eventually outgrow their allergy.¹

Younger siblings of children who are allergic to tree nuts may be at higher risk for atopic disease. Every case is different and your doctor can provide guidance about food allergy testing for siblings if appropriate.

Feeding Birds: a Quick Guide to Seed Types

The seed that attracts the widest variety of birds, and so the mainstay for most backyard bird feeders, is sunflower. Other varieties of seed can help attract different types of birds to round out your backyard visitors. In general, mixtures that contain red millet, oats, and other “fillers” are not attractive to most birds and can lead to a lot of waste as the birds sort through the mix.

Here’s our quick guide to seed types, including:

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There are two kinds of sunflower—black oil and striped. The black oil seeds (“oilers”) have very thin shells, easy for virtually all seed-eating birds to crack open, and the kernels within have a high fat content, extremely valuable for most winter birds. Striped sunflower seeds have a thicker shell, much harder for House Sparrows and blackbirds to crack open. So if you’re inundated with species you’d rather not subsidize at your black oil sunflower, before you do anything else, try switching to striped sunflower.

People living in apartments or who have trouble raking up seed shells under their feeders often offer shelled sunflower. Many birds love this, as of course do squirrels, and it’s expensive. Without the protection of the shell, sunflower hearts and chips quickly spoil, and can harbor dangerous bacteria, so it’s important to offer no more than can be eaten in a day or two.

Sunflower is very attractive to squirrels, a problem for people who don’t wish to subsidize them. Some kinds of squirrel baffles, and some specialized feeders, are fairly good at excluding them. Sunflower in the shell can be offered in a wide variety of feeders, including trays, tube feeders, hoppers, and acrylic window feeders. Sunflower hearts and chips shouldn’t be offered in tube feeders where moisture can collect.


Safflower has a thick shell, hard for some birds to crack open, but is a favorite among cardinals. Some grosbeaks, chickadees, doves, and native sparrows also eat it. According to some sources, House Sparrows, European Starlings, and squirrels don’t like safflower, but in some areas seem to have developed a taste for it.

Cardinals and grosbeaks tend to prefer tray and hopper feeders, which makes these feeders a good choice for offering safflower.

Goldfinches on thistle socks. Photo by Sarah Maclean/PFW.

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Nyjer or thistle

Small finches including American Goldfinches, Lesser Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings, Pine Siskins, and Common Redpolls often devour these tiny, black, needle-like seeds. As invasive thistle plants became a recognized problem in North America, suppliers shifted to a daisy-like plant, known as Guizotia abyssinica, that produces a similar type of small, oily, rich seed. The plant is now known as niger or nyjer, and is imported from overseas. The seeds are heat-sterilized during importation to limit their chance of spreading while retaining their food value.

White proso millet

White millet is a favorite with ground-feeding birds including quails, native American sparrows, doves, towhees, juncos, and cardinals. Unfortunately it’s also a favorite with cowbirds and other blackbirds and House Sparrows, which are already subsidized by human activities and supported at unnaturally high population levels by current agricultural practices and habitat changes. When these species are present, it’s wisest to not use millet virtually all the birds that like it are equally attracted to black oil sunflower.

Because white millet is so preferred by ground-feeding birds, it’s often scattered on the ground—an excellent practice as long as no more is set out than birds can eat in a day. Low-set tray feeders with excellent drainage can be a very good choice for white millet, too.

Shelled and cracked corn

Corn is eaten by grouse, pheasants, turkeys, quails, cardinals, grosbeaks, crows, ravens, jays, doves, ducks, cranes, and other species. Unfortunately, corn has two serious problems. First, it’s a favorite of House Sparrows, cowbirds, starlings, geese, bears, raccoons, and deer—none of which should be subsidized by us. Second, corn is the bird food most likely to be contaminated with aflatoxins, which are extremely toxic even at low levels. Never buy corn in plastic bags, never allow it to get wet, never offer it in amounts that can’t be consumed in a day during rainy or very humid weather, and be conscientious about raking up old corn.

Never offer corn covered in a red dye. Corn intended for planting is often treated with fungicides, marked with red dye as a warning. It is highly toxic to humans, livestock, and all birds.

Never offer buttered popcorn or any kind of microwave popcorn. Popped corn spoils quickly.

Corn should be offered in fairly small amounts at a time on tray feeders. Don’t offer it in tube feeders that could harbor moisture.


Peanuts are very popular with jays, crows, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, and many other species, but are also favored by squirrels, bears, raccoons, and other animals that should not be subsidized. Like corn, peanuts have a high likelihood of harboring aflatoxins, so must be kept dry and used up fairly quickly.

Peanuts in the shell can be set out on platform feeders or right on a deck railing or window feeder as a special treat for jays, if they reach them before the squirrels do. If peanuts or mixtures of peanuts and other seeds are offered in tube feeders, make sure to change the seed frequently, especially during rainy or humid weather, completely emptying out and cleaning the tube every time.

Milo or sorghum

Milo is a favorite with many Western ground-feeding birds. On Cornell Lab of Ornithology seed preference tests, Steller’s Jays, Curve-billed Thrashers, and Gambel’s Quails preferred milo to sunflower. In another study, House Sparrows did not eat milo, but cowbirds did.

Milo should be scattered on the ground or on low tray feeders. Stop offering it if you’re subsidizing cowbirds.

Golden millet, red millet, flax, and others

These seeds are often used as fillers in packaged birdseed mixes, but most birds shun them. Waste seed becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, contaminating fresh seed more quickly. Make sure to read the ingredients list on birdseed mixtures, avoiding those with these seeds. In particular, if a seed mix has a lot of small, red seeds, make sure they’re milo or sorghum, not red millet.

Rapeseed and canary seed

These two seed types don’t offer much over the more widespread seeds. A few birds do eat rapeseed, including quails, doves, finches, and juncos. If you’re not getting these, the rapeseed will be left to spoil. Canary seed is very popular with House Sparrows and cowbirds—birds that many people would prefer not to attract. Other species that eat canary seed are equally happy with sunflower, so this is a better all-around choice.


Based on the above, we the signatories commit to:

  • SUPPORT the Food Systems Summit’s five Action Tracks, through our participation in the Summit and beyond, providing input throughout the upcoming year
  • CONTINUE investing in science and innovation to Develop and Produce varieties that are locally adapted to farmers’ needs
  • DIALOGUE with any potential partner that shares our goal of feeding the world’s growing population, including multilaterals, governments, regional authorities, and public bodies
  • CONTINUE our support for the conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity
  • CONTINUE to lay the foundation to provide consumers with food that is healthy, safe, nutritious, and varied
  • ADVOCATE so that farmers around the world areable to access the seed of their choice, at the right time, and in the right place
  • SHOW integrity and demonstrate openness continue to share information in the agricultural space to be open to ideas, and above all else to contribute to the evolution of food systems for the future of our world.

Fruits and Seeds

Fruit structure is often very unique and can be a great way to identify the tree. You often find the fruit of a tree lying on the ground below it, which is ideal because it allows you to examine it closely just make sure the fruit comes from the tree you are trying to identify. Binoculars can be very helpful for examining tree leaves and fruits that are out of reach.

When the ovary inside of the flower is pollinated, a "ripened" ovary or fruit is produced. An apple (Figure 26) is a delicious example of the fruit produced after the ovary of the flower has been pollinated.

The fruit or ovary houses the seed(s) and the ripened seed(s) house an embryo inside. As a seedling begins to develop, the fruit provides nourishment for it. Figure 27 shows examples of various tree fruit types.

The Who, What, Where & When of the Slide

William Watson & Sons, Company, London (1834–1957), was a large supplier of optical instruments and prepared microscope slides, selling by catalog in both England and the United States between 1834 and 1957. Why would a company produce and market a microscope slide of flower seeds glued in a symmetrical arrangement? There are no indications that “Grouped Flower Seeds” (GFS) was intended to serve a purpose in academic biological study. Simply put, the GFS slide was made to be an entertaining novelty for the thriving amateur microscopist market of the time. From 1837 to 1901, which many biologists have dubbed the “Golden Age of Natural History,” nature study was a popular pastime. Having a microscope in the home was not uncommon among families well-off enough to have leisure time. Exploring nature’s microscopic world was a hobby enjoyed by many microscope owners, while others less involved might set up a microscope with slides as a conversation seed-crystal during social functions.

“Grouped Flower Seeds” is a dry mount with an opaque black background, requiring oblique, top-stage illumination for microscopic viewing. Ninety-two small seeds are glued into a geometric pattern, surrounded by a metal collar to prevent the cover slip from touching the seed arrangement. Outside the mount, gloss enamel paint seals the chamber from external humidity. There is no mounting medium filling the space between the seeds and the cover slip, so the slide is fragile. Rough handling could dislodge the seeds from their positions, ruining GFS’s geometric arrangement, so allowing students unsupervised viewing of the deep-mount slide would be risky.

The slide’s date of creation is estimated to be between 1890 and 1907. The approximation was inferred by comparing the labels affixed to GFS with matching label designs used by W. Watson & Sons, as illustrated in Bracegirdle’s compendium of antique microscope slides (Figure 2). Additionally, a Watson & Sons advertisement listed a slide titled “Grouped Flower Seeds” in the 1893 edition of Hardwicke’s Science Gossip, confirming the existence of a slide with the same name being offered by the company during the corresponding time range. Because Watson & Sons resold slides made by other commercial preparers under their label, the actual creator of GFS is not known but with databases containing digitized catalogs, magazines, newspapers, and books of the period rapidly growing online, the GFS artisan may yet be uncovered.

Watch the video: How to Check for Seed Viability (August 2022).