ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,

parthenocarpy, forb

In this part of the world, for those of us who garden, January is seed catalog obsession month. 
I have green things on the brain (plants, not brain slugs), hence today's theme.

parthenocarpy ('par thə no 'kar pee), noun.  The production of fruits without fertilization.

Some seedless varieties of fruits and vegetables are produced through parthenocarpy.  Parthenocarpic vegetables can provide options in situations where pollination is problematic (such as greenhouses).  Some parthenocarpic varieties have been developed through genetic modification, but the phenomenon also occurs occasionally in nature. 
Etymology:  Greek parthenos virgin + karpos fruit or harvest.  Same root at parthenogenesis ("virgin birth"). 

forb (forb), noun.  An herb (plant lacking a persistent woody stem) other than grass.

In biology/ecology, forb is the term used for herbaceous (i.e., non-woody) flowering plants that are not graminoids (grasses, sedges, and rushes).  "Sedge" is another cool word; some well-known sedges are water chestnuts and papyrus.  In the Prairie Moon Nursery catalog, "Forbs" is the title of the section on wildflowers.

Etymology:  Greek forbe fodder, pasture, food


It is cold, and I am late;
Seeds wait by trays and tools
While I plan for greens, and blue potatoes,
And all that grows in catalogs.
I craft elaborate plots,
Ponder parthenocarpy and the lack of bees,
Whose drones tease fruit from sun-clad forbs,
And fly random orbits along the garden rows.
There is a burden of time
Between there and here,
A grimy resolution to keep:
Begin again.
Snow melt exposes the litter of fall,
Past plans lying crushed
While new life rushes ahead,
Unheeding of the dead underfoot.
I am ready to watch them feed on the past,
To turn last year's remains, and the sun and the rain,
Into the means to begin again.
Tags: f, greek, noun, p, theme: poems, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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