Fruit. The word itself conjures up mouthwatering memories of crunchy apples, luscious strawberries, sweet bananas, succulent melons, and juicy pineapples, to which we can now add the splendid cornucopia of tropical fruits that have conquered supermarket shelves around the world. They are one of nature’s most wonderful gifts, but providing us with a healthy source of food is not the reason that plants produce such delicious fruits. We all know that many fruits are not edible and that some are even poisonous. It is therefore quite legitimate to ask what fruits are, and why they exist.
In this pioneering collaboration, visual artists Rob Kesseler and seed morphologist Wolfgang Stuppy use scanning electron microscopy to obtain astonishing images of astonishing images of a variety of fruits and the seeds they protect. Razor-sharp cross sections reveal intricate interiors, berries and pods, nuts and other examples of botanical architecture and reproductive ingenuity. The black-and-white microscope images have been sumptuously colored by Rob Kesseler, highlighting the structure and functioning of the minuscule fruit and seeds – some almost invisible to the naked eye – and in so doing creating a work of art. Larger fruits, their flowers, and some of their animal dispersers have been especially photographed for his book.
Fruits are the keepers of the precious seeds that ensure our future; some are edible, other inedible, and many, quite simply, incredibly beautiful and delicious.