It’s that time of year again – the time when you are afraid to walk under any type of tree that has nuts! Gravity doesn’t help the situation, but the squirrels assist the situation by hurling nuts towards the ground at lightning speeds in an effort to break their tough exteriors and enjoy the yummy goodness inside.
True nuts are dried fruits with a single seed inside. The seed case wall of a nut becomes very hard at maturity, but inside the seed is packed with oils to help fatten up animals for the winter months. This case protects the soft seed, or meat, inside.
Some nuts grow on trees, like pecans; others like hazelnuts, grow on large bushes. Most nut trees and bushes take three years or longer to mature and begin to produce nuts.
There are lots of seeds that we call nuts that are not actually true nuts. Walnuts and cashews are drupes, with two seeds inside. Peanuts are actually legumes. Brazil nuts have multiple seeds encased in a capsule or pod that splits apart.
Fun Fact – Acorns are actually considered true nuts.
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