RARELY have seeds and fruits so closely resembled a work of art. These strikingly intricate images capture the fertilisation and reproduction of plants.
The photos are taken from the book The Hidden Beauty of Seeds and Fruits: The botanical photography of Levon Biss, which showcases a branch of botany dedicated to the study of seeds and fruits called carpology.
Carpology places a focus on the shape and structure of different fruits and seeds. Biss chose the most interesting specimens he could find in the carpological collection at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK, to photograph, all of which have been dried or preserved.
The top row shows, from left to right: a coco de mer fruit (Lodoicea maldivica), split in half to reveal the germinating seedling within; a partially dissected Medang Pajal fruit (Ternstroemia sp.) with its seed exposed; the fruit head of a giant banksia (Banksia grandis); and a yangua fruit (Cybistax antisyphilitica), known for its unusual green-coloured flowers.
The bottom row shows, from left to right: a nut from the buckeye tree (Aesculus glabra); a red-fleshed durian fruit (Durio graveolens); the seed pod from a field manioc shrub (Zeyheria montana); and the seed pod of a thorn apple (Datura stramonium).
Images from the book, published by Abrams & Chronicle, are on display at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh until September.