- English Vocabulary
- Types of Fruits: List of Fruits with Their Picture and Name
- Types of Fruits: Introduction
- Hesperidia (Citrus Fruits)
- Tropical Fruits
- Botanic fruit and culinary fruit
- Fruit development
- Seedless fruits
- Seed dissemination
- The Fruit
- Classification of Fruits
- Types of Fruits
- Solved Examples for You
- Purpose of a fruit
- Fruit anatomy
- Types of fruit
- Fruit as a food source
A fruit is the part of a plant that has seeds and flesh (edible covering). A fruit is normally sweet (or sometimes sour) and can be eaten in its raw (uncooked) state. Fruit are the way plants disseminate their seeds.
Grammatically, do you say Fruit or Fruits?
The word Fruit is a noun. The word is an exception where the noun is both countable and uncountable. So the plural of Fruit can be either Fruit OR Fruits.
When we think of Fruit as a group collectively and in a non-specific way, then we tend to use the word Fruit (without S).
- You should eat five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Fruit is good for your health.
- Would you like some fruit?
- There isn’t much fresh fruit available in winter.
If you are emphasising the different kinds of fruit, then you can use fruits.
- My three favorite fruits are bananas, melons and strawberries.
- The supermarket has a wide selection of exotic fruits such as Papaya and Mango.
- The juice is made from a variety of fresh fruits.
- I love oranges and other citrus fruits.
If you are not sure which to use, the safest thing is to just use Fruit all the time.
Chart with Fruit and their names in English
** ESL Teachers ** We now have a version of this chart that can be used in your classroom. We have also included individual A4 Flash Cards of each individual fruit with its name. You can purchase it here: Fruit in English – Chart and Flash Cards
List of Fruit in English
- avocado – the plural is avocados though you may see avocadoes (less frequently).
- boysenberry – is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry
- kiwifruit – sometimes written as two words kiwi fruit. It has the same form in singular and plural kiwifruit.
- lychee – sometimes called litchi in US English
- mango – the plural of mango can be either mangos or mangoes.
- melon – the generic name for most types of melon
- nectarine – the same a peach but without fur on its skin
- papaya – In some countries it is called pawpaw.
- passion fruit – In United States it is written as two words while in some countries it is written as one word: passionfruit. The plural of passion fruit is either passion fruit or passion fruits. See our notes about the plural of fruit above.
- peach – same as a nectarine but with a slight fur on its skin
Fruits that people think are Vegetables
The following are actually fruits in a botanical sense, though are commonly thought of as vegetables due to their culinary uses:
- avocado, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, peppers, pumpkin, squash, tomato, zucchini
Yes, that’s right, the so called vegetables above are in reality fruit, not vegetables.
A piece of fruit
We often say a piece of fruit when we refer to one fruit (one apple, one orange etc) without specifying which one it is.
- She always has a piece of fruit with her breakfast.
The fruit of something
The fruit (or fruits) of something is an expression which means the good results that you obtain from something such as hard work.
- The award he received is the fruit of his hard work and always trying to do his best.
Try our interactive game about Fruit in English (Name the photo of each fruit)
See our List of Vegetables in English (with some additional notes)
Teacher / Parent Resource
If you found this English Vocabulary about Fruit interesting or useful, let others know about it:
While in college a friend of mine introduced me to a beautiful, intelligent woman. Either inadvertently or on purpose, right off the bat, he exposed my love for botany. Confused and unimpressed, she asked what I found so interesting about plants, and naturally I became as articulate as a watermelon.
I was reminded of that event last night at a birthday party when my niece came out of the blue to declare that a watermelon is a berry. “Almost,” I said. “It’s an accessory berry because of the way its rind and flesh form.” And of course, another cutie gave up on me.
Of the strawberry, blackberry and raspberry, only the latter comes close to being a berry. The first two aren’t even fleshy fruits; the tomato, which many still regard as a vegetable, is a pure berry, and lemons are modified berries. Here’s why. There are five types of fleshy fruits.
(1) In the pome, which as the name suggests includes the apple, pear and less popular hawthorn, the flower’s receptacle or floral tube becomes the edible part, and it surrounds the ex-ovary, that shell around the seeds.
(2) In the drupe (peaches, plums, cherries) we’re eating the outer wall of the ovary. The inner wall is stony (the pit) and it contains the seed, usually laced with a cyanide -related compound known as amygdalin, yielding anywhere from 200 to 4700 mg of HCN per kiligram of nectarine or bitter almond seeds, respectively.
(3) In the pure berry, the entire ovary becomes fleshy, and it can have one to many seeds. Examples include grapes, tomatoes, eggplants, kiwis and persimmons. The raspberry is an aggregate of berries because it’s a fusion of many ovaries.
(4) The pepo, an accessory berry, has its receptacle and ovary wall fusing to make the hard rind. We’re basically eating the rest of the ex-ovary. Examples include watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers and squash.
(5) Citrus fruits such as lemon and oranges are hesperidia or modified berries because the ovary wall becomes the rind, and again we’re eating the rest of what was the ovary.
The strawberry is not a berry, nor is most of it a fleshy fruit. The fleshy, edible part comes from the receptacle of the flower, and the botanical fruits are miniature and surround the seeds. The blackberry is also not a berry and falls in the same category as the strawberry.
Now that we’re done, you can bury all these berry-facts, unless you believe, as I do , that there will soon be a revived interest in natural history and botany!
Types of Fruits: List of Fruits with Their Picture and Name
Many of us are familiar with the benefits of eating various kinds of fruits. Fruits are among the foods that rank high in nutritional value and have many antioxidants that are essential to our health. The 5 main types of fruits contain many vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients that we need for a healthy diet. If you also include tropical fruits as a type of fruit, then there are actually 6 types of fruits.
When we talk about fruits in culinary terms, we usually refer to sweet or sour fleshy structures containing seeds that grow on plants or trees.
However, in botanical terms, a fruit is any seed-bearing structure. This means that, technically, tomatoes, eggplants, peas, beans, and wheat grains are all different types of fruits.
This article will cover fruits in the way most of us understand the term “fruit” when we use it for culinary purposes rather than botanically.
Types of Fruits: Introduction
The 5 main types of fruits are:
Drupes. A type of fleshy fruit containing a large seed, for example, peaches, cherries, and apricots. Botanically, other types of drupe that could also be a classified under this category are some berries. For example, raspberries and blackberries are made up of a number of drupelets.
Berries. In the culinary world berries are small juicy sweet or sour fruits that don’t have a stone or a pit, such as strawberry, raspberry, blueberries and blackberries. But in botanical terms a ‘true berry’ is a fleshy fruit formed from the ovary of one flower with a seed or seeds embedded in the flesh. These include blueberries, gooseberries and cranberries.
Pomes. Fruits in this category have a fleshy area surrounding a core containing seeds. For example apples and pears are types of pomes.
Hesperidia (Citrus Fruits). These fruits have a thick tangy rind and sectioned pulp inside, such as lemons, oranges and limes.
Pepo. This type of fruits have multiple seeds throughout the flesh or grouped together in the center. Melons and are among some of the largest kinds of pepo fruits. This category includes various sizes of fruits from large watermelons to tiny cucamelons.
Tropical fruits. Although not always classified as a kind of fruit, the list of tropical fruits include bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, and guavas.
Some examples of fruits that we usually refer to as vegetables include pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and peppers. Botanically, tomatoes for example, are classified as berries. Pumpkins, on the other hand, are classified as a pepo fruit.
Let’s have a look in more detail at the various types of fruits and their benefits:
A drupe is a type of fruit that has a single seed in the center surrounded by a hard layer like a shell.
The hard internal part of drupe fruits is surrounded by a juicy, fleshy fruit wall. Stone fruits are common types of drupes. (1)
Drupes are generally sweet, juicy fruits that are rich sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.
Sweet fruits that are in the list of drupes are divided into 2 different types of stone fruit:
Clingstone. The stone in this type of drupe usually clings to the fruit flesh and is difficult to remove. Some types of peaches, plums, and cherries are clingstone fruits.
Freestone. As the name suggests, freestone drupes have a stone which comes out easily and doesn’t have to be cut free. Many varieties of peaches and plums come in both freestone and clingstone.
There are other types of drupe that could also be a classified as a kind of berry. For example, raspberries and blackberries are made up of a number of drupelets.
Different types of fruits that are drupes
Some examples of delicious fruits that are classified as drupes include mangoes, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, and dates.
Among the type of drupes that are “botanically” referred to as fruits are olives, almonds, walnuts, coconuts, and cashews. What we call “nuts” in the culinary world are actually drupes that we eat the seed instead of the fruit.
Health benefits of common drupe fruits
As with most fresh fruits, stone fruits with a juicy sweet flesh are a good source of nutrients that are essential for your health. Here are some common popular drupe fruits that are very good for you:
Cherries. Types of cherries include sweet cherries and sour cherries. A 2018 review on the benefits of cherries says that they are a good source of vitamin C and a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. Eating cherries and drinking cherry juice is associated with lowering inflammation, resolving joint pain, and reducing the effects of oxidative stress. (2)
Plums. Consuming 3 plums will give you 19 mg of vitamin C and 2.7 g of fiber which is 30% and 12% of your daily requirements. Another benefit of plums is eating them in their dried form, commonly called prunes. Eating dried plums can help to increase bone density, prevent obesity by using them as a healthy snack, and treat constipation. (3, 4, 5)
Mangoes. One of the fruits in the list of tropical fruits that is a drupe is the mango. Mangoes are rich sources of vitamins C and E as well as potassium and magnesium. The high levels of nutrients in mangoes mean that they are good for your heart health, digestive system, and reducing the signs of aging. (6, 7, 8)
Types of stone fruits
Berries are among the most popular types of fruit because of their varied taste, color, and texture. In fact, many people rate berries in their list of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Usually, berries are small juicy edible kind of fruits and they can have a sweet, sour, or tart taste. All varieties of “true” berries don’t have a stone in the middle. However, their flesh usually contains seeds as in the case of blackcurrants, grapes, blueberries, gooseberries, and persimmon.
Interestingly, in the botanical sense, raspberries or strawberries are not classified as berries, but in the culinary world they are.
Although citrus fruits (hesperidium) are “botanically” berries, they are classified as modified berries, not true berries. We will discuss citrus fruits in the list of hesperidium fruits.
Different types of fruits that are berries
Berries can be among some of the sweetest fruits available or some of the sourest fruits in the world.
Some examples of sweet berries in culinary terms are strawberries, blueberries, and some varieties of raspberry. The list of sour berries includes cranberries, gooseberries, and some types of raspberry.
Other popular fruits that are classified as berry fruits include grapes, goji berries, and elderberries.
Health benefits of common berries
Berries are an extremely healthy food because they pack a lot of goodness and antioxidants into a small package.
Dark-colored berries and red-colored berries are extremely good for you because they contain a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. This healthy compound has been linked to the prevention of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. (9, 10, 11)
Let’s look briefly at the health benefits of some of the most popular berries.
Blueberries. Studies have shown that blueberries have a number of positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Supplementing your diet with these tasty blue berries can help lower blood pressure fast, reduce cholesterol, and prevent inflammation. Blueberries also have vitamins and antioxidants that can help to prevent age-related vision loss. (12, 13)
Raspberries. Although technically a drupe, raspberries are included in the list of the healthiest berries in culinary terms. Raspberries, especially black raspberries, are rich in antioxidants that benefit your heart health. Eating more raspberries also helps protect your cognitive function and improve memory. (14, 15)
Strawberries. Although not a “true berry” botanically, these delicious red berries are among the healthiest fruits that you can eat. Strawberries are one of the popular berries for their sweet taste and health benefits. Eating strawberries has been linked to lower inflammation, heart disease risk, protection against obesity-related disorders, and even cancer. (16)
The fruits that are classified as pomes have a relatively hard flesh that surrounds a core containing seeds.
The fruits in the pomes category are extremely popular. For example, apples and pears are in the pome fruit list. The French word for apple, pome, actually comes from the Latin pomum that originally meant fruit.
The characteristic feature of the pome variety of fruits is their central core. The endocarp, which is the innermost layer which surrounds a seed, can have a leathery or stony texture.
Did you know, that apples come in a staggering number of varieties? According to researchers at the University of Illinois, there are around 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world. (17)
Common fruits that are pome fruits
The most common types of pome fruits are apples and pears. Pome fruits that are consumed less frequently include quince, rowan, and whitebeam.
Health benefits of common pome fruits
Apples are one of the most common types of fruits in the world and they have many health benefits.
Apples are a hard fruit and a great snack if you want to lose weight, improve your digestive system, and get a dose of vitamin C. For example, one medium-sized apple contains nearly 15% of your daily vitamin C requirements and 17% of your fiber needs. One apple only contains around 100 calories. (18)
A review into the varieties of apple fruits and their benefits found that they contain many types of strong antioxidants. Consuming apples has been linked to a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic health conditions. (19)
Apples and pears are popular pome fruits
Hesperidia (Citrus Fruits)
Citrus fruits are types of fruits that have a thick tangy rind and come in various colors from green to yellow to orange. In the botanical term, citrus fruits are a variety of berry (modified berry).
Most citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit have a soft juicy flesh that is in segments. The segments are filled with tiny liquid-filled carpels that contain citrus juice.
The protective spongy rind covering the citrus flesh also contains many health benefits. The rind contains volatile oils that are often used to make essential oils. You can also scrape the outer layer of citrus fruit skins to get the zest to add to flavor food and beverages.
Different varieties of citrus fruits that are good for you
All kinds of citrus fruits have many benefits due to their high levels of vitamin C. Some of the most commonly-known fruits in the list of citrus fruits are lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges.
Other varieties of fruits belong to the hesperidia (citrus fruits) family include bergamot, clementine, kaffir lime, kumquats, pomelo, and yuzu.
Health benefits of common citrus fruits
Citrus fruits in general are among the most popular types of fruits. Citrus fruits are used to make food, beverages, and cosmetics, as well as essential oils and spices. (20)
Varieties of citrus fruits help treat inflammatory conditions, protect cardiovascular health, kill off free radical scavengers, and have anticancer properties. (20)
Lemons. Lemons are definitely on the list of the yellow fruits and are of the most common type of citrus fruit to consume for its health benefits. These yellow citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. (21, 22, 23, 24)
Grapefruit. Grapefruits are one example of fruits that are good to eat if you want to lose weight and control your appetite. Studies have shown that grapefruit consumption on a weight-loss diet may help you lose weight quicker. What’s more, grapefruit is also packed with fiber and nutrients that you need for your health. (25, 26)
Pepo fruit types are generally relatively large fleshy fruits that have multiple seeds throughout the flesh or grouped together in the center. For example, watermelon is a type of fruit that is classified as pepo fruit.
Similar to citrus fruits, varieties of fruits classified as pepos are actually berries in botanical terms. The difference between pepo fruits (berries) and hesperidium fruits (citrus fruits) is the fact that the flesh isn’t segmented.
There are certain kinds of pepo “fruits” that we tend to think of as vegetables. These include cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, and, eggplant. The sweetest varieties of pepos that we associate with fruits are melons and watermelons.
Melons come in all shapes and sizes ranging from large to smaller with various skin color such as cantaloupes with their wiry greenish skin.
Different examples of fruits that are pepos
From all the different types of pepo fruits, usually watermelons and varieties of melons are the ones we associate with being fruits rather than vegetables.
Some popular kinds of melon include Honeydew and Cantaloupe.
Health benefits of common pepo fruits
Let’s look at some of the health befits of the most popular of the pepo fruits.
Watermelon. Refreshing watermelon is about 91% water and is a great way to stay hydrated on a hot summer’s day. Watermelon is a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to good cardiovascular health and a strong immune system. Because it is low in calories, watermelon is also a good type of fruit to eat if you want to lose weight. (27, 28, 29)
Cantaloupe melon. One of the reasons to include cantaloupe melon in your diet is that it contains antioxidants that are good for your eyesight. As well as being a good source of fiber and hydration, cantaloupe melon also benefits your digestive system and weight-loss diets. (30, 31).
Melon and watermelon are popular types of fruit
Tropical fruits are not botanically classified as a type of fruits. But most people assume that the tropical fruit category contains exotic fruits such as dragon fruit, rambutan, lychees, and passion fruit.
Just looking at pictures of tropical fruits or hearing the names of tropical fruits can transport you to exotic lands. However, the taste of tropical fruits such as pineapple, papaya, mangoes, dragon fruit, rambutan, lychees, and passion fruit is what sets them apart from other types of fruit.
Tropical types of fruits
Varieties of plants that produce tropical fruits grow around the equator and include countries in the Caribbean, the north part of South America, Central Africa, Asia, and islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Examples of tropical fruits include papaya and mangoes which are drupes, pineapples which are actually a collection of berries that have fused together, and guabana (soursop) which technically is a kind of berry.
2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Food and agriculture
Fruit stall in Barcelona, Spain.
The term fruit has different meanings depending on context. In botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary—together with seeds—of a flowering plant. In many species, the fruit incorporates the ripened ovary and surrounding tissues. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds. In cuisine, when discussing fruit as food, the term usually refers to just those plant fruits that are sweet and fleshy, examples of which include plum, apple and orange. However, a great many common vegetables, as well as nuts and grains, are the fruit of the plant species they come from.
No one terminology really fits the enormous variety that is found among plant fruits. Botanical terminology for fruits is inexact and will remain so. The term false fruit (pseudocarp, accessory fruit) is sometimes applied to a fruit like the fig (a multiple-accessory fruit; see below) or to a plant structure that resembles a fruit but is not derived from a flower or flowers. Some gymnosperms, such as yew, have fleshy arils that resemble fruits and some junipers have berry-like, fleshy cones. The term “fruit” has also been inaccurately applied to the seed-containing female cones of many conifers.
With most fruits pollination is a vital part of fruit culture, and the lack of knowledge of pollinators and pollenizers can contribute to poor crops or poor quality crops. In a few species, the fruit may develop in the absence of pollination/fertilization, a process known as parthenocarpy. Such fruits are seedless. A plant that does not produce fruit is known as acarpous, meaning “without fruit”.
Botanic fruit and culinary fruit
Venn diagram representing the relationship between botanical and culinary fruit and vegetables. Many culinary vegetables are botanical fruit. An arrangement of fruits commonly thought of as vegetables, including tomatoes and various squash.
Many foods are botanically fruit but are treated as vegetables in cooking. These include cucurbits (e.g., squash, pumpkin, and cucumber), tomato, aubergine (eggplant), and sweet pepper, spices, such as allspice and chillies. Occasionally, though rarely, a culinary “fruit” will not be a true fruit in the botanical sense. For example, rhubarb may be considered a fruit, though only the astringent petiole is edible. In the commercial world, European Union rules define carrot as a fruit for the purposes of measuring the proportion of “fruit” contained in carrot jam. In the culinary sense, a fruit is usually any sweet tasting plant product associated with seed(s), a vegetable is any savoury or less sweet plant product, and a nut any hard, oily, and shelled plant product.
Although a nut is a type of fruit, it is also a popular term for edible seeds, such as peanut (which is actually a legume), pistachio and walnut. Technically, a cereal grain is a fruit termed a caryopsis. However, the fruit wall is very thin and fused to the seed coat so almost all of the edible grain is actually a seed. Therefore, cereal grains, such as corn, wheat and rice are better considered edible seeds, although some references list them as fruits. Edible gymnosperms seeds are often misleadingly given fruit names, e.g. pine nuts, ginkgo nuts, and juniper berries.
A fruit is a ripened ovary. After the ovule in an ovary is fertilized in a process known as pollination, the ovary begins to ripen. The ovule develops into a seed and the ovary wall pericarp may become fleshy (as in berries or drupes), or form a hard outer covering (as in nuts). In some cases, the sepals, petals and/or stamens and style of the flower fall off. Fruit development continues until the seeds have matured. With some multiseeded fruits the extent to which the flesh develops is proportional to the number of fertilized ovules.
The wall of the fruit, developed from the ovary wall of the flower, is called the pericarp. The pericarp is often differentiated into two or three distinct layers called the exocarp (outer layer – also called epicarp), mesocarp (middle layer), and endocarp (inner layer). In some fruits, especially simple fruits derived from an inferior ovary, other parts of the flower (such as the floral tube, including the petals, sepals, and stamens), fuse with the ovary and ripen with it. The plant hormone Ethylene causes ripening. When such other floral parts are a significant part of the fruit, it is called an accessory fruit. Since other parts of the flower may contribute to the structure of the fruit, it is important to study flower structure to understand how a particular fruit forms.
Fruits are so varied in form and development, that it is difficult to devise a classification scheme that includes all known fruits. It will also be seen that many common terms for seeds and fruit are incorrectly applied, a fact that complicates understanding of the terminology. Seeds are ripened ovules; fruits are the ripened ovaries or carpels that contain the seeds. To these two basic definitions can be added the clarification that in botanical terminology, a nut is a type of fruit and not another term for seed.
There are three basic types of fruits:
- Simple fruit
- Aggregate fruit
- Multiple fruit
Simple fruits can be either dry or fleshy and result from the ripening of a simple or compound ovary with only one pistil. Dry fruits may be either dehiscent (opening to discharge seeds), or indehiscent (not opening to discharge seeds). Types of dry, simple fruits (with examples) are:
Fruits in which part or all of the pericarp (fruit wall) is fleshy at maturity are simple fleshy fruits. Types of fleshy, simple fruits (with examples) are:
Dewberry flowers. Note the multiple pistils, each of which will produce a druplet. Each flower will become a blackberry-like aggregate fruit.
An aggregate fruit, or etaerio, develops from a flower with numerous simple pistils. An example is the raspberry, whose simple fruits are termed drupelets because each is like a small drupe attached to the receptacle. In some bramble fruits (such as blackberry) the receptacle is elongate and part of the ripe fruit, making the blackberry an aggregate-accessory fruit. The strawberry is also an aggregate-accessory fruit, only one in which the seeds are contained in achenes. In all these examples, the fruit develops from a single flower with numerous pistils.
A multiple fruit is one formed from a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence). Each flower produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass. Examples are the pineapple, edible fig, mulberry, osage-orange, and breadfruit.
In some plants, such as this noni, flowers are produced regularly along the stem and it is possible to see together examples of flowering, fruit development, and fruit ripening
In the photograph on the right, stages of flowering and fruit development in the noni or Indian mulberry (Morinda citrifolia) can be observed on a single branch. First an inflorescence of white flowers called a head is produced. After fertilization, each flower develops into a drupe, and as the drupes expand, they become connate (merge) into a multiple fleshy fruit called a syncarpet.
There are also many dry multiple fruits, e.g.
- Tuliptree, multiple of samaras.
- Sweet gum, multiple of capsules.
- Sycamore and teasel, multiple of achenes.
- Magnolia, multiple of follicles.
Seedlessness is an important feature of some fruits of commerce. Commercial cultivars of bananas and pineapples are examples of seedless fruits. Some cultivars of citrus fruits (especially navel oranges and mandarin oranges), table grapes, grapefruit, and watermelons are valued for their seedlessness. In some species, seedlessness is the result of parthenocarpy, where fruits set without fertilization. Parthenocarpic fruit set may or may not require pollination. Most seedless citrus fruits require a pollination stimulus; bananas and pineapples do not. Seedlessness in table grapes results from the abortion of the embryonic plant that is produced by fertilization, a phenomenon known as stenospermocarpy which requires normal pollination and fertilization.
Variations in fruit structures largely depend on the mode of dispersal of the seeds they contain. This dispersal can be achieved by animals, wind, water, or explosive dehiscence.
Some fruits have coats covered with spikes or hooked burrs, either to prevent themselves from being eaten by animals or to stick to the hairs, feathers or legs of animals, using them as dispersal agents. Examples include cocklebur and unicorn plant.
The sweet flesh of many fruits is “deliberately” appealing to animals, so that the seeds held within are eaten and “unwittingly” carried away and deposited at a distance from the parent. Likewise, the nutritious, oily kernels of nuts are appealing to rodents (such as squirrels) who hoard them in the soil in order to avoid starving during the winter, thus giving those seeds that remain uneaten the chance to germinate and grow into a new plant away from their parent.
Other fruits are elongated and flattened out naturally and so become thin, like wings or helicopter blades, e.g. maple, tuliptree and elm. This is an evolutionary mechanism to increase dispersal distance away from the parent via wind. Other wind-dispersed fruit have tiny parachutes, e.g. dandelion and salsify.
Coconut fruits can float thousands of miles in the ocean to spread seeds. Some other fruits that can disperse via water are nipa palm and screw pine.
Some fruits fling seeds substantial distances (up to 100 m in sandbox tree) via explosive dehiscence or other mechanisms, e.g. impatiens and squirting cucumber.
Nectarines are one of many fruits that can be easily stewed.
Many hundreds of fruits, including fleshy fruits like apple, peach, pear, kiwifruit, watermelon and mango are commercially valuable as human food, eaten both fresh and as jams, marmalade and other preserves. Fruits are also found commonly in such manufactured foods as cookies, muffins, yoghurt, ice cream, cakes, and many more. Many fruits are used to make beverages, such as fruit juices (orange juice, apple juice, grape juice, etc) or alcoholic beverages, such as wine or brandy.
Many vegetables are botanical fruits, including tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, okra, squash, pumpkin, green bean, cucumber and zucchini. Olive fruit is pressed for olive oil. Apples are often used to make vinegar. The spices vanilla, paprika, allspice and black pepper are made from fruits.
Because fruits have been such a major part of the human diet, different cultures have developed many different uses for various fruits that they do not depend on as being edible. Many dry fruits are used as decorations or in dried flower arrangements, such as unicorn plant, lotus, wheat, annual honesty and milkweed. Ornamental trees and shrubs are often cultivated for their colorful fruits, including holly, pyracantha, viburnum, skimmia, beautyberry and cotoneaster.
Fruits of opium poppy are the source of the drugs opium and morphine. Osage orange fruits are used to repel cockroaches. Bayberry fruits provide a wax often used to make candles. Many fruits provide natural dyes, e.g. walnut, sumac, cherry and mulberry. Dried gourds are used as decorations, water jugs, bird houses, musical instruments, cups and dishes. Pumpkins are carved into Jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween. The spiny fruit of burdock or cocklebur were the inspiration for the invention of Velcro.
Coir is a fibre from the fruit of coconut that is used for doormats, brushes, mattresses, floortiles, sacking, insulation and as a growing medium for container plants. The shell of the coconut fruit is used to make souvenir heads, cups, bowls, musical instruments and bird houses.
Retrieved from ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit”
Almost all of us love all types of fruits! However, have you ever thought about how complex the fruits can be? Yes! Fruits are of various types, with different characteristics and each one with a distinct scientific name! So, what’s your favorite fruit? Mango? But, how much do you know about it, apart from the fact that it is tasty! In this topic, we will read more about the various types and characteristics of fruits.
Fruits protect the seeds. Yes! This is the primary function of the fruits and not just satisfying your taste buds! But, in some fruits, seeds are absent. Examples include grapes, banana, etc. They are parthenocarpic or seedless fruits. Let us now look at the various parts of the fruit in greater detail.
Browse more Topics under Morphology Of Flowering Plants
- The Seed
- Classification of Flowering Plant
After ripening, the ovarian wall changes into pericarp. This pericarp may be thick and fleshy or thick and hard or thin and soft. The pericarp has 3 layers. They are
- Outermost layer: Epicarp
- Middle layer: Mesocarp
- Innermost layer: Endocarp
Now we move on to know more about the various types of fruits.
A true fruit is one that develops only from the ovary. Examples are Mango, Coconut, Zizyphus, etc.
False Fruit or Pseudocarp
In some fruits, it is not the ovary that forms the fruit. In fact, some other parts of the flower, like the thalamus, inflorescence, calyx are modified to become a part of the fruit. These types of fruit are called false fruits. Examples are Apple, Strawberry, etc.
Know more about Flower
Classification of Fruits
There are two criteria for the classification of fruits:
- Whether the carpels present in gynoecium are free or in a fused state.
- One or more flower takes part in the formation of fruit.
According to the above points, we can classify fruits into types of fruits
Types of Fruits
These fruits develop from the monocarpellary ovary or multicarpellary syncarpous ovary. Only one fruit is formed by the gynoecium. Simple fruits are of two types
- Fleshy Fruits: In fleshy fruits, the fruit wall is differentiated into epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. These fruits develop from superior or inferior syncarpous gynoecium.
- Dry Fruits: The pericarp of simple dry fruits is usually quite dry and hard. It is not differentiated into the three layers of epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp. In some dry fruits, this pericarp is broken down and the seeds are scattered or dispersed. These fruits are dehiscent fruits.
In some fruits, the pericarp is further arranged into one or more seeded segments. Such fruits are schizocarpic fruits. In some fruits, the pericarp is not observed to be dehisced even after maturing/ripening. Such fruits are indehiscent Fruits.
What is Inflorescence?
These are the fruits that develop from the multicarpellary apocarpous ovary. It becomes a fruitlet because each carpel is separated from one another in the apocarpous ovary. These fruits make a bunch of fruitlets which is known as etaerio.
- Etaerio of follicles: Each fruit or etaerio is a follicle. Eg. Calotropis, Catharanthus, Magnolia -e. In calotropis, the stigma is fused or joined in carpellary ovary and ovaries of ovules are separated. It means only two follicles are present in etaerio.
- Etaerio of achenes: In this aggregate fruit, each fruit is an achene. Eg. Ranunculus, Strawberry, Rose, Lotus. In lotus, the thalamus becomes spongy and some achenes are embedded in it. In strawberry, the thalamus is fleshy and we can find small achenes on its surface.
- Etaerio of berries: It is an aggregate of small berries. Eg. Polyalthia, Annona squamosa (Custard-apple). In the etaerio of Annona, all the berries are arranged densely on the thalamus.
- Etaerio of drupes: In this type of fruit, many small drupes develop from different carpels. Eg. Raspberry. In this type carpel of apocarpous ovary form drupe fruit.
All composite fruits are false fruits. In these fruits, generally, there are many ovaries and other floral parts combining to form the fruit. These are of two types:
- Sorosis: These fruits develop from spike, spadix or catkin inflorescence. Examples inJackfruit fruit, Kevda (screwpine). In jackfruit (Kathal) pistillate flowers are developed around the peduncle. In fruit formation, the pericarp becomes spongy and fused.
- Sycosis: These fruits develop from hypanthodium inflorescence. Receptacle becomes hollow and has a pore. Numerous small scales surround the pore. Eg. Ficus species Peepal
Understand Classification of Flowering Plant
These are underground fruits. Examples include Arachis.
Solved Examples for You
Question: Write a note on the dispersal of fruits and seeds.
Solution: Most of the plants do not move from one place to another. They grow, produce flowers and fruits while remaining fixed at one and the same place. The seeds falling directly under the mother plant have to germinate and develop under limited food supply and space.
To overcome this problem, the fruits and seeds have several special devices for wide dispersal. The natural agents like wind, water and animals and even the mechanism of dehiscence in some fruits, help the seeds and fruits to disperse from one place to another, and to long distances from the parent plant.
- Wind: In the species where the seeds are light in weight or have some accessory part to help dissemination, are dispersed by the air current.
- Water: The fruits and seeds with specialized devices which may be in the form of spongy and fibrous outer walls as in coconut and spongy thalamus as in lotus, and small seeds with airy aril as in water lily, float very easily in water and are carried away to long distances with the water current.
- Animals: The fruits and seeds with hooks, spines, bristles, stiff hair, etc., get attached to the body of hairy and woolly animals and are carried away by them to distant places. For instance fruits of Xanthium and Urena bear curved hooks, spear grass has a bunch of stiff hair, Tribulus has sharp and rigid spines.
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Fruit is found on all angiosperm plants and are produced following the pollination of flowers. They come in a huge variety of colors, shapes and sizes and only a tiny fraction of all fruits are commonly eaten by humans. They are the product of swollen ovaries and other floral parts inside which the seeds of the plant are grown and stored. Fruits can be fleshy, such as apples and peaches, or they can be dry, for examples fruits such as beans, acorns and walnuts.
Purpose of a fruit
The main purpose of fruit is to protect seeds during development. They are also important for attracting birds and other animals to eat seeds. Plants use fruit to entice animals to eat their seeds because they can the carry their seeds into new areas while the seeds are in their guts before releasing the seeds with their feces.
Fruits contain seeds and a number of protective outer layers that can collectively be known as the pericarp. In many fruits, the pericarp may include a hard shell surrounding the seeds commonly known as the pit, a large fleshy section, and a thinner outer layer of skin.
The seeds enclosed within a piece of fruit are the developed embryos of fertilized eggs. They develop within the ovary of a flower and are the sole reason for why the fruit is produced. Seed sizes and shapes can vary significantly. Some are light or small and are designed to be blown into new areas by the wind. Others are larger and heavier and require the help of animals to be carried into new habitats.
The pericarp is separated into the endocarp, mesocarp and exocarp. The endocarp is the inner most layer of the pericarp and often develops into a hardened pit. The mesocarp is the middle layer of the pericarp and commonly grows into a thick, fleshy layer of tissue. The exocarp is the outer most layer that forms the skin of the fruit. Each layer plays a different role in either protection or dispersal.
Types of fruit
There is a massive variety of different types of fruit. The main separation between fruit types is between fleshy and dry fruits. Fleshy fruits have a juicy layer of tissue in the pericarp, seen in fruits such as oranges, tomatoes and grapes; whereas dry fruits do not.
Fleshy fruits can be further separated into a large number of fruit types. Common types of fleshy fruits include berries, pomes, drupes and hesperidia fruits. Berries are fruits with one or many seeds and a thin layer of skin e.g. grapes, tomatoes and blueberries. Pomes includes fruits that are made from a swollen receptacle rather than a swollen ovary such as apples and pears. Drupes are fruits that have a single seed that is protected by a hard shell – commonly known as stone fruit. Citrus fruits are classed as hesperidia fruits because of their leathery skins that produce scented oils.
Many plants, such as maples, beans, oaks and sunflowers, produce dry fruit that don’t have a fleshy layer to their pericarp. Dry fruit can be either dehiscent, where they pop open and release their seeds to the world; or indehiscent, where they do not pop open. Examples of dry dehiscent fruits include legumes, orchid fruits, milkweed plants and magnolias; and examples of dry indehiscent fruit that do not pop open include carrots, acorns, grass grains and chestnuts.
Fruit can also be separated into simple, aggregate and multiple fruits. Simple fruits are made from one flower and one ovary and includes the majority of fruits. In fact, all of the examples of fruits given in this article up until this point are simple fruits. Aggregate fruits are formed from one flower that has several ovaries and each of them develops into fruit segments. These include fruits such as blackberries and raspberries. Multiple fruits are formed when multiple flowers produce fruits that merge to create one larger piece of fruit. This is seen in pineapples and figs.
Fruit as a food source
Fruit is arguably one of the most important sources of food in the world. It is the staple food of thousands of species of land-based animals such as birds, insects, reptiles and mammals. Humans alone eat around 500 million tonnes of fruit per year and the cultivation of fruit is a global and multi-billion dollar industry.
- Some gymnosperms (that don’t grow flowers) produce fruit-like structures to try to compete with angiosperms.
- The world’s largest pumpkins weigh over 900 kg (2000 lbs.)
Last edited: 28 May 2015
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It is not easy to define a fruit. For a common man fruit means a sweet, juicy or pulpy, coloured, aromatic structure that encloses seed(s).
Botanically, a fruit develops from a ripe ovary or any floral parts on the basis of floral parts they develop, fruits may be true or false.
(i) True Fruits:
A true fruit or eucarp is a mature or ripened ovary, developed after fertilization, e.g., Mango, Maize, Grape etc. (Fig. 7.1 – A).
(ii) False Fruits:
A false fruit or pseudo-carp is derived from the floral parts other than ovary, e.g., peduncle in cashew-nut, thalamus in apple, pear, gourd and cucumber; fused perianth in mulberry and calyx in Dillenia (Or. Ou). Jack fruit and pine apple are also false fruits as they develop from the entire inflorescence. False fruits are also called spurious or accessory fruits (Fig. 7.1.-B).
(iii) Parthenocarpic fruits:
These are seedless fruits that are formed without fertilization, e.g., Banana. Now a day many seedless grapes, oranges and water melones are being developed by horticulturists. Pomology is a branch of horticulture that deals with the study of fruits and their cultivation.
Morphology of a Typical Fruit:
A fruit consists of pericarp and seeds. Seeds are fertilized and ripened ovules. The pericarp develops from the ovary wall and may be dry or fleshy. When fleshy, pericarp is differentiated into outer epicarp, middle mesocarp and inner endocarp.
Types of Fruits:
On the basis of the above mentioned features, fruits are usually classified into three main groups:
(2) Aggregate and
(3) Composite or Multiple fruits.
When a single fruit develops from a single ovary of a single flower, it is called a simple fruit. The ovary may belong to a monocarpellary simple gynoecium or to a polycarpellary syncarpous gynoecium. There are two categories of simple fruits—dry and fleshy.
Simple fruits are of two types:
1. Dry Fruits:
These fruits are not fleshy, and their pericarp (fruit wall) is not distinguished into three layers.
2. Succulent Fruits (Fleshy fruits):
In these fruits pericarp is distinguished into epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp. Mesocarp is fleshy or fibrous. These fruits are indehiscent, and seeds are liberated after the decay of the flesh.
1. Dry Fruits:
Three types of dry fruits are distinguishable:
(A) Dehiscent Fruits (Capsular Fruits):
Characteristic of these fruits is that their pericarp rupture after ripening and the seeds are disseminated.
(B) Indehiscent Fruits (Achenial Fruits):
As their name indicates, pericarp of such fruits does not rupture on ripening and the seeds remain inside.
(C) Schizocarpic Fruits (Splitting Fruits):
These fruits fall in between the above-mentioned two categories. Here, the fruit on ripening divides into one-seeded segments or mericarp; but the mericarps remain un-ruptured.
(A) Dehiscent Fruits (Capsular Fruits) (Fig. 7.2):
Depending on the mode of dehiscence, these fruits can be divided into the following five classes:
1. Legume or Pod:
Legume develops from a superior, monocarpellary, unilocular ovary. At maturity, the fruit dehisces along both the sutures i.e. ventral as well as dorsal. It is characteristic of family Leguminosae (Pea, Gram etc).
It is similar to legume but it dehisces only along the ventral suture, e.g. Larkspur, Calatropis, Michelia, Vinca.
Siliqua develops from a bicarpellary, syncarpous, superior ovary which is unilocular but becomes bilocular due to a false septum called replum. It is an elongated fruit in which dehiscence occurs along both the sutures from base to apex and the seeds attached to the replum get exposed. Example-Brassica (Mustard).
A short and flattened siliqua is called silicula. It is almost as broad as long. Examples: Iberis amara (Candytuft), Capsella bursa-pastoris (Shepherd’s purse).
It is a simple dry many seeded dehiscent fruit developing from a multi-carpellary syncarpous ovary.
On the basis of dehiscence capsules are of the following types:
The dehiscence occurs through pores as in Poppy (Papaver) (Fig. 7.3.-A).
This is a special name given to a capsule when the dehiscence is transverse so that the top comes off as a lid as if exposing a box of seeds, e.g., Celosia (Cock’s comb), Amaranth us, Chalfweed (fig. 7.3-B).
The dehiscence occurs by longitudinal slits which open into the loculi, e.g., 1 dy’s finger (Abelmoschus) (Fig. 7.3-C).
The dehiscence line appears along the septa, e.g.. Linseed, Cotton (Fig. 7.3D) to the central axis ,eg. Datura (Fig. 7.3-E).
Tin- broken parts separate exposing the seeds attached to the central axis, e.g Datum (Fig. 7.3-E)
(B) Indehiscent or Achenial Fruits:
Achenial fruits are simple, indehiscent, single seeded having a thin, dry, woody or leathery pericarp.
There are five common types of achenial fruits:
1. Achene (Fig. 7.4-A):
The pericarp of the fruit is free from the testa of the seed. The seed is attached to the pericarp only at one point. It develops from superior monocarpellary pistill having unilocular and uniovuled ovary, e.g., Mirabilis jalapa, but more commonly achenes occur in the form of aggregate fruits as in Ranunculus and Clematis etc.
2. Caryopsis (Fig. 7.4-B).
It is similar to achene except that in this case pericarp and testa are inseparably fused as in cereals. It is a characteristic future of family Gramineae. Example—Wheat, Maize etc.
3. Cypsela (Fig. 7.4 -C):
11 is a characteristic feature of family Compositae. The fruit wall is free from testa and a typical feature of the fruit is the presence of a pappus having a crown of hair like processes which helps in wind-dispersal. The fruit develops from bicarpellary, syncarpous, interior ovary having a single basal ovule, e.g., Sonchus, Dandelion etc.
It develops from a monocarpellary pistil with a superior, unilocular and uniovuled ovary. The pericarp is expanded in the form of wings which help in dispersal. Example—Holoptelea and Elm (Fig. 7.4.-D).
The pericarp is harder and leathery or woody. It may develop from a simple or compound pistil with superior or inferior, uniovuled ovary. Examples—Quercus (Oak), Litchi and Cashew-nut Trapa etc. (Fig. 7.5). In case of Litchi pericarp is hard and leathery. The edible part is aril which is an outgrowth of testa from the micropylar end and becomes juicy
(C) Schizocarpic or Splitting Fruits:
These fruits maybe considered intermediate between achenial (being indehiscent) and capsular (being many seeded) fruits. The fruit breaks up into a number of indehiscent single-seeded segments called mericarps from which seeds are liberated only when pericarp gets rotten. In some cases one- seeded parts of the fruit are dehiscent and are called Cocci.
Schizocarpic fruits are of following 5 types:
The fruit is constricted between the seeds and usually breaks up into segments containing one or more seeds, e.g. Mimosa, Acacia arabica (Fig. 7.6). In case of radish, the fruit is lomentaceous siliqua.
2. Compound Samara:
This is a two-seeded fruit derived from bicarpellary, syncarpous, inferior, bilocular and uniovuled ovary. It is a typical fruit of family umbelliferae. The two mericarps split along the central axis or carpophore to which they remain attached. Persistent style and stylopodium are present e.g. Coriander. (Fig. 7.8).
This fruit is derived from superior, syncarpous pistil, multilocular with axile placentation. The fruit splits into many mericarps. e.g. Hollyhock (Althaea rosea), Salvia, Ocimum (Fig. 7.9).
It is derived from polycarpellary pistil which splits into as many Cocci (dehiscent segments) as there are carpels. Regma of castor breaks up into three cocci as it is derived from tricarpellary syncarpous pistil. Similarly, regma of Geranium breaks into five cocci as it is derived from five carpels (Fig. 7.10).
2. Succulent or Fleshy Fruits:
These are simple fruits with fleshy pericarp. The simple succulent fruits are of 3 types – drupe, pome and berrie.
The pericarp or fruit wall is differentiated into thin epicarp (skin) fleshy mesocarp and stony endocarp.Hence.it is also called as stone fruit, e.g., Mango, Coconut, Peach, Almond, Trapa etc. In mango, mesocarp is juicy and edible. In coconut mesocarp is fibrous and edible part is endocarp. In almond, epicarp and mesocarp get peeled off and only hard endocarp can be seen in marketed fruits. The edible part is cotyledons (Fig. 7.11).
3. Berry and Bacca:
Berry is a fleshy fruit in which there is no hard part except the seeds (Fig. 7.13). Pericarp may be differentiated into epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp. One or other of these layers may form pulp in which seeds are embedded which generally gets detached from the placenta.
The fruits derived from superior ovary are called superior or true berries as in brinjal, grape, tomato. False berries are derived from inferior ovary and thalamus and pericarp are fused as in banana and guava etc. In case of bannana (Fig. 7.13C) epicarp and thalamus are peeled off, mesocarp and endocarp with embedded unripe seeds forms the edible part. In case of Date, epicarp and mesocarp are edible while papery and thin endocarp is thrown away along with the seed.
There are some fruits which show variations from the normal berry:
This develops from inferior ovary which is unilocular or falsely trilocular having parietal placentation. The seeds remain attached to placenta. The outer ring is very hard as in Cucurbits (Fig. 7.13D).
It develops from polycarpellary, syncarpous, superior, multilocuiar ovary with axile placentation. Epicarp forms the leathery peeling, mesocarp is in the form of fibres while the endocarp projects inwards forming distinct chambers from which juicy ingrowths in the form of hair arise which form the edible part, eg. Citrus (Orange, Lemon) (Fig. 7.13E).
It is derived from polycarpellary, syncarpous, multilocuiar and superior ovary. In this case, epicarp is woody. The placenta and inner layers of pericarp become pulpy and edible in which the seeds are scattered. The testa is muclilagenous, e.g., Aegle marmelose (Fig. 7.13-1).
It is a berry with an outer hard rind formed of epicarp and a part of mesocarp. The inward foldings of mesocarp form chambers. Each chamber is lined by papery endocarp which encloses a group of seeds. The seeds are covered by edible juicy testa. e.g., Pomranate (Fig. 7.13-G).
II. Aggregate Fruits:
Flowers with polycarpellary and apocarpous gynoecium give rise to a number of fruitlets as there are a number of free ovaries, each giving rise to one fruitlet. Sometimes, these fruitlets coalesce together appearing to be a single fruit but in many other cases, the fruitlets remain free from one another forming etaerio of fruitlets. An aggregate fruit is named according to the nature of fruitlets.
1. Etaerio of achenes:
Aggregate of achenes are found in Fragaria (strawberry), Rose, Ranunculus, Nelumbium (lotus) etc. Here each fruitlet is an achene; and achenes are hairy. In rose (Rosa), many achenes are present on a saucer (cup) – shaped thalamus. In lotus (Nelumbium), thalamus becomes spongy and some achenes are embedded in it. In strawberry [Fragaria), the thalamus is fleshy and becomes red on maturation and is the edible part (Fig. 7.14).
2. Etaerio of follicles:
Etaerio of follicles can be seen in Aconitum, Catotropis, Crypiostegia etc. In Aconitum three fruitlets from each flower while two fruitlets (follicles) develop from one flower in Calotroiis, Cryptostegia and Michelia (Fig. 7.15).
3. Etaerio of samaras (Fig. 7.16).
It can be studied in Ailanthus where many winged samaras develop from one flower.
4. Etaerio of berries:
In Artabotrys berries occur in a bunch. In Anona squomosa (Custard apple) the berries become very fleshy and being crowded together on a thick thalamus form a complex single fruit (Fig. 7.17). The apices of berries fuse together forming something like a common rind.
5. Etaerio of drupes (Fig. 7.18):
It is an aggregate of small drupes or drupelets developing from different carpels of a flower, and arranged collectively on fleshy thalamus, e.g. Rubus idaeus.
III. Composite Fruits:
A fruit developing from a complete inflorescence is called a multiple or a composite fruit.
There are two main types of composite fruits:
This type of fruit is found in Mulberry, Pineapple and Jack fruit (kathal). These fruits are derived from catkin, spike and spadix type of inflorescence (Fig. 7.19).
Mulberry (Morus indica) fruit develops from catkin in which fleshy perianth encloses dry achenes.
In jack fruit, thick club-shaped peduncle has the flowers arranged on it. The fertile fruits have juicy, edible perianth lobes and the bracts form more or less juicy chaffs around them. The spines on the tough rind represent the stigmas of the carpels. Each seed is covered by a membranous testa. In Pineapple (Ananas sativus), the ovaries are not so conspicuous, edible portion being formed by peduncle, perianth and bracts. Each polygonal area on the surface represents a flower. This fruit develops from an intercalary spike.
This fruit develops from the hypanthodium type of inflorescence and is characteristic of Ficus. In fig, Banyan etc. (Fig. 7.21) female flowers within the closed receptacle (which becomes fleshy) of the inflorescence develop into achenes giving rise to a multiple fruit of achenes.