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Q: A bit of a peanut ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   8 Comments )
Subject: A bit of a peanut
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: archae0pteryx-ga
List Price: $3.09
Posted: 18 Jan 2005 23:30 PST
Expires: 17 Feb 2005 23:30 PST
Question ID: 459696
Sheer curiosity, this one.

A single peanut is divided into halves.  Salted or roasted peanuts
separate easily.  The two halves have a characteristic shape, with a
little vertical indentation and a slight hollow in the center.

There is also, at one end, a little tip or nib part that may cling to
one half when you separate them or may just fall off, but seems to be
a distinct little part, woody like the rest but not integrally
attached.  There's apt to be a little collection of them in the bottom
of the can or jar.

I bet this little part has a name.  What is the name, and what is the
function of this small bit of peanut?

I don't need to know that a peanut is not a true nut, and I'm not
asking anything at all about how they grow or where or why.  I just
want to know what the little extra bit is called and what it's for.

Thank you,
Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
Answered By: efn-ga on 19 Jan 2005 19:40 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Archae0pteryx,

That little part is the embryo.  As the name suggests, it's the part
of the seed that grows into a new peanut plant.  The two larger
halves, the cotyledons, are there to provide food for the embryo.


The Texas Peanut Production Guide says "The peanut seed consists of
two cotyledons (also called seed leaves) and an embryo."  (p. 21)

Peanuts are apparently popular models for teaching about seed anatomy.
 For example, a NASAexplores article "Science in a Nutshell" says
"Observe the bump at the end of the peanut. This is the baby plant, or

There's a diagram of a typical seed, showing what an embryo looks
like, on this page from

If you need any more information or additional puns, please ask for a
clarification and I'll see what I can do.



Request for Answer Clarification by archae0pteryx-ga on 20 Jan 2005 20:22 PST
Oh, dear, I don't know what to do now!  It seemed to me that Pinkfreud
answered the question, but she posted it as a comment.  You've given
essentially the same answer, though with more links, and posted it as
an answer.  Your answer seems complete and satisfies the terms of the
question, but so did Pink's.  How do I respond to this in a way that's
fair to both?


Clarification of Answer by efn-ga on 20 Jan 2005 23:39 PST
First, thank you for asking for a clarification rather than an
immediate refund.  I regret having inadvertently created an awkward

I posted an answer because you asked for the name, and I thought that
Pinkfreud's answer was "radicle" and the correct answer was "embryo." 
The quotation in her comment mentioned that there was an embryo in
there, described it as a miniature plant, described its parts, and
said that it grew from a zygote, but didn't explicitly say what its
function was, though, of course, you could guess it from the term
"embryo."  So if you get really picky, her comment didn't really
answer the question, but I can see how it works at a common-sense
level, so perhaps my perception that I added value was excessively
pedantic.  Sorry, I just couldn't stand the thought of you and the
countless readers of this page going through life thinking an embryo
was a radicle.

Pink chose not to post an answer and claim the price, so I don't think
you need to do anything to be fair to her.  You have only to decide
whether to accept my answer or not.

We researchers try to avoid posting answers that don't add value to
the comments.  I thought I was adding enough value to be worth the
price of the question in this case, but you are the customer, and the
decision is ultimately yours.

Whatever your decision, thanks again for asking for my views.

archae0pteryx-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.09
Thank you, efn.  Your explanation is very clear, and Pink's comments
help too.  I see the difference now.  Don't worry, I've been around GA
long enough to know that this is the place to ask questions rather
than jumping to any sort of conclusion.


Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: pinkfreud-ga on 18 Jan 2005 23:52 PST
I believe you're referring to the radicle, which is an embryonic root.

From a lab quiz about peanut dissection:

"Carefully pull the two cotyledons apart. Normally one of the
cotyledons breaks off and the rest of the embryo is attached to the
other cotyledon.

Do you find a miniature plant inside these fleshy structures? 
Look closely at the rest of the embryo. You will be able to see tiny
leaves with veins (the epicotyl or plumule), a short stocky stem (the
hypocotyl), and a tiny projection (the radicle) that will become the
root. All of these tissues have arisen from the development of a
single cell (the zygote)."
Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: steph53-ga on 19 Jan 2005 05:57 PST
Speaking from the "peanut gallery"...good question Tryx!!!
Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: capitaineformidable-ga on 19 Jan 2005 11:54 PST
Two peanuts were walking down the street and one was asalted.

Yes, sometimes it does get even sillier than this.

Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: pinkfreud-ga on 19 Jan 2005 12:09 PST
Norman, you are a legume in your own time.
Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: guzzi-ga on 19 Jan 2005 18:00 PST
And Ms Pink is a ?fixer?. (Gettit?)
Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: pinkfreud-ga on 21 Jan 2005 10:18 PST

Efn's answer is excellent, and I certainly wouldn't challenge it. My
suggestion of "radicle" was based upon an interpretation of your
question which I felt was iffy - that's why I posted it as a comment
rather than as an answer. Your phrase "tip or nib" led me in a
different direction. The embryo is a little rounded lump at one end of
the peanut seed, and the "tip or nib" of it is the radicle. The
radicle, which will become the root of the plant, is a protrusion from
the embryo.

Back in the '60s, a botany professor at the University of Tulsa had us
all dissecting peanuts and drawing diagrams of our findings. The word
"radicle" stuck in my head because it looked like a misspelling of
"radical," and I found that amusing. Of course, in the '60s, colleges
were full of radicle causes, and some of 'em were indeed the products
of nuts. ;-)

Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: efn-ga on 22 Jan 2005 11:52 PST
Thanks, Pink!  And I salute your ability to please a customer even
when in doubt yourself.
Subject: Re: A bit of a peanut
From: archae0pteryx-ga on 23 Jan 2005 11:43 PST
Thanks, Pink, for your initial comment on this and also your further
explanation.  My question wasn't very clearly worded because I
couldn't figure out what to call that little lump--which is why I was
asking.  I was inquiring as a peanut eater, not a peanut grower (or a
botany student), so I was interested only in what is plainly visible
in a roasted, salted, and otherwise processed peanut.  When I tried to
look this up, I did find information on fresh or growing peanuts, and
it was hard to relate that to what I saw in the Planters jar.

You and efn have done a nice job of working this one out.


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