|A pineapple (Ananas comosus) that isn't fully ripe.|
|A flowering pineapple|
The pineapple is also worth note thanks to how it photosynthesizes. It uses a fairly unusual method known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism or CAM. Plants that use this form of metabolism are best adapted for areas that can be rather dry. Instead of opening their stomate during the day to gather carbon dioxide, CAM plants open them during the night when less water vapor will evaporate. Carbon dioxide is then stored as an acid and used for photosynthesis during the day when stomata are closed. This form of photosynthesis is nor particularly efficient under moist, cool conditions, but when it's arid, nothing can beat a CAM plant. CAM plants don't include a great number of species compared to C3 plants (i.e. most plant species), but groups that photosynthesize this way include some of the bromeliads and orchids, as well as many succulents. CAM plants are not very well studied, and there's even the International Society of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism that is working on bettering our understanding the process.
|A field of pineapple plants|
If you have not yet had fresh pineapple, it's a real treat that's much better than canned. Just beware to eat it ripe and don't eat the core or rind.
Sources are Purdue University, Pima Community College, Purdue University again, International Society of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism, Newcastle University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Images are from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licenses: one, two, three.