Evil hides beneath the calyx, yet you hold it close.
Sorry, I couldn't resist. The calyx is part of a flower. The reason I say ‘evil hides beneath’ is because that is where many fruit rotting fungi hang out.
Calyx as flower part
Calyx is another word for sepal. Sepals are the green petals at the base of a flower that are modified leaves. The calyx is also the green leafy area at the top of a strawberry fruit. Sometimes, the calyx is the same color as its flower. In most cases, once a plant is done with the flower, the calyx is discarded. Tomatillo plants retain the calyx as a thorny protection. In other cases, the calyx begins to grow in earnest after the flower is fertilized, creating a protective bladder-like enclosure. The sepals of Hibiscus sabdariffa turn into an edible accessory fruit.
Calyx as hiding place
Many fungi, such as botrytis cinema, love to hide under the calyx, waiting for a splash of rain or irrigation water to start breeding grey mold and feeding on your berries and other garden produce. Sometimes the calyx falls victim to the very pathogens it protects, along with the fruit, as in the case of stem-end rot. In some cases, such as calyx blight, only the calyx becomes infected and the fruit remains fine.
How many different types of calyx are in your garden?
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!