Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center
Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center
Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center
University of California
Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center

Anatomy of Common Tree Fruit & Nut Crops

Flower anatomy has important consequences for orchard establishment and management practices in tree fruit and nut crops. The benefits of using supplemental pollinators dramatically outweigh the associated financial and logistical costs in some crops that require outcrossing (almonds), but not in other self-fertile crops (peaches and nectarines). Many components of orchard design, including the use of multiple cultivars within an orchard, the spatial arrangement of cultivars within an orchard block, and the ratio of male to female individuals in dioecious species, are influenced by flower anatomy and pollination requirements.

The image gallery below provides illustrations (taken from the USDA manual # 496: Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crops) of longitudinal sections of many insect pollinated tree fruit flowers. The illustrations of walnut flowers were generously provided by Professor Vito Polito, Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.

In addition to the image gallery, the Summary Chart of Floral Biology & Pollination lists traits of common tree fruit and nut crops grown in California.

Almond flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Almond flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Apple flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Apple flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Apricot flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Apricot flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Cherry flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Cherry flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Kiwifruit flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Kiwifruit flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Nectarine flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Nectarine flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Olive flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Olive flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Peach flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Peach flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Pear flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Pear flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Persimmon flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Persimmon flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Plum flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Plum flower longitudinal section. Image source: USDA Handbook 496.
Pomegranate flower longitudinal section. USDA Handbook 496.
Pomegranate flower longitudinal section. USDA Handbook 496.
Prune flower longitudinal section. source: USDA Handbook 496.
Prune flower longitudinal section. source: USDA Handbook 496.
Quince flower longitudinal section. source: USDA Handbook 496.
Quince flower longitudinal section. source: USDA Handbook 496.
Female walnut flower longitudinal section. source: Vito Polito.
Female walnut flower longitudinal section. source: Vito Polito.
Male walnut flower longitudinal section. source: Vito Polito.
Male walnut flower longitudinal section. source: Vito Polito.
Page Last Updated: November 29, 2012
Webmaster Email: fruitsandnuts@ucdavis.edu