Home   Dicots   Dr M’s World eXclusive botanical party game: eXtreme Carpology!

Dr M’s World eXclusive botanical party game: eXtreme Carpology!

‘Tis the season for jolly party games and Dr M is proud to present the World eXclusive botanical party game: eXtreme Carpology: seeds, fruits and flowers!

Created for the BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting in November 2013 by Christine and Waheed, two of Dr M’s Plant Diversity MSc students at University of Reading.

Now is your chance to test your botanical and carpological skill!

There are 16 flowers (A-P),  and there are sixteen petri-dishes of seeds or fruits (i-xvi).

Do take time to admire them, they are all beautiful!

So how do you go about the quiz?

Step 1: identify the flowers – to family will help a lot, different plant families have characteristic seeds and fruits.

OK first things first, what’s the different between seeds and fruits?

A seed is basically a ripened ovule with seed coat, while a fruit is a structure (simple or complex) made up of variously modified plant parts enclosing the seeds (there are many types of fruit  e.g. achenes, berries, capsules, mericarps, nuts etc):

For example, the Apiaceae (Carrot family) has a schizocarp (a dry fruit) which splits into paired mericarps each often flattened and variously ornamented with spines, hooks, oil glands etc.

Poaceae (Grass family) has a spikelet with a pair of glumes and lemma and palea subtending the male and female floral parts and caryopsis (which is the grass “seed”).

Step 2: Match the seeds/fruits with each flower.

Step 3: Check the answers and calculate your score – keep this in a safe place it is your CCI – your official Carpological Capability Index!

The flowers (A-P) click on the image to see more floriferous detail:

The fruits/seeds (1-16) click on the image to see more carpological detail:


The answers: Play the game then check for the answers here!

So, how did you do?

1-5: Carpologically challenged!

6-10: Carpologically creditable!

11-16: Carpological champion!


Dr M is working on an automated version which will calculate your score, but this is challenging his technical abilities and he wanted to share at least this version sooner rather than later!

eXtreme Carpology rules OK!



  • Waheed

    Carpological champion, obviously!
    Photographs have come out very well – were they taken with the USB microscope?

    • DrM

      Waheed, no the photos of the seeds in the petri dishes were taken with my Lumix Bridge camera, I am planning to photograph each seed/fruit with the Leica Microscope camera in the lab, they will look stunning but needs a bit of time to get the light/focus just right! Dr M

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