One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The development of a fruit without prior fertilization.
- ‘I turned to the contribution from Koltunow, Vivian-Smith, Tucker and Paech on apomixis and parthenocarpy with a sense of anticipation, this being a former interest with which I had rather lost touch.’
- ‘Occasionally, however, a mutation occurs that allows fruit to develop from unfertilized female flowers, a process known as parthenocarpy.’
- ‘Fertile plants produce >90% viable pollen and produce normal seed-bearing pods with no evidence of parthenocarpy.’
- ‘This not only provides an effective solution to the ovary abortion, but also provides an experimental system for studying fruit development, in particular, the mechanism of chemical-induced parthenocarpy.’
Early 20th century: from German Parthenocarpie, from Greek parthenos ‘virgin’ + karpos ‘fruit’.
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