A mammoth undertaking resulting in a 2.2-kilogram book on fruit is a fascinating look at a subject that has baffled botanists for years.

Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible by writer Wolfgang Stuppy and photographer Rob Kesseler (Firefly) celebrates the extraordinary diversity of plant reproductive systems.

Stuppy explains that a fruit is a seed carrier, so an apple is a fruit, but so too is a tomato, an olive or an almond. “The fruits are really not there to feed us but to trick us into fulfilling a mission to deposit their seeds somewhere else,” said the seed morphologist.

The book is pictorially magnificent. Professor and artist Kesseler used special light and scanning electron microscopy to create 200 sumptuous images of fruits and seeds within their flesh.

“The electron microscope has such as enormous depth and feel the wavelength is much shorter than light,” says Stuppy.

As a result, tiny interior structures of plants and seeds are blown up to fill the oversized pages, creating images that are sometimes surreal yet breathtakingly beautiful.

Stuppy says the book not only appeals to people interested in plants, but “a lot of artists and designers get inspiration from nature because of the shapes and patterns of the fruits.”

Chew on this
Author Wolfgang Stuppy also explains that a citrus fruit is actually an “armoured berry.” Although they ripen to a luscious sweetness, oranges in the tropics never actually turn orange, for which cooler temperatures are necessary.

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