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I have to know where those "Siamese twin" cherries come from-- you know, two fruits, one stem?

-- Judith, San Diego

We've meddled with cherry genetics enough that some of the resulting cultivars exhibit a few sexual quirks. Ordinarily, a cherry blossom has one pistil, leading the pollen to one ovary in the base of the bloom. The ovary becomes one cherry with one stem. Nature at it's most clean and simple, on paper at least. But a few of the sweet cherry varieties occasionally freak out when the weather's hot at budding time. They produce flowers with two pistils. So, one bud, two pistils, two cherries jammed together. Strictly speaking, these are not retail grade, but cherry harvesting and grading is a tedious job, so sometimes twins slip through.

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