MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Is it true you can make a pine cone 'blossom' or open up with heat?

Area: General Biology
Posted By: Roger Raimist, Prof. Biological Sciences
Date: Sun Jan 19 16:10:13 1997

Yes, they can be made to open up with heat. As you heat the pinecone, the moisture in the bracts or scales dries and the outside of the bract shrinks, opening up the cone. Many pines have evolved a mechanism of opening the cones only during a fire so the seeds will be dispersed when there is less competetion and high fertilizer available. If you try this, do it on an old cookie sheet in an oven on a low temperature setting for a while. The pine resin will soften and ooze out onto the pan and is difficult to get off. You can clean it with some terpentine. If you need more help, you may write me at The School Page. See the site for more information:

Doc. R.

Current Queue | Current Queue for General Biology | General Biology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network
© 1997, Washington University Medical School