Fruit

Fruit

Overview

In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 that contains its seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s.

The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

s, orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

s, grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

s, strawberries
Garden Strawberry
The garden strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness...

, juniper berries and banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s. Seed-associated structures that do not fit these informal criteria are usually called by other names, such as vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s, pods, nut
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

, ears
Ear (botany)
An ear is the grain-bearing tip part of the stem of a cereal plant, such as wheat or maize. It can also refer to "a prominent lobe in some leaves".The ear is a spike, consisting of a central stem on which grows tightly packed rows of flowers...

 and cones
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

.

In biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 (botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

), a "fruit" is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues
Tissue (biology)
Tissue is a cellular organizational level intermediate between cells and a complete organism. A tissue is an ensemble of cells, not necessarily identical, but from the same origin, that together carry out a specific function. These are called tissues because of their identical functioning...

 of the flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

, mainly one or more ovaries
Ovary (plants)
In the flowering plants, an ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower or gynoecium. Specifically, it is the part of the pistil which holds the ovule and is located above or below or at the point of connection with the base of the petals and sepals...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Fruit'
Start a new discussion about 'Fruit'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia

In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 that contains its seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s.

The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

s, orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

s, grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

s, strawberries
Garden Strawberry
The garden strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness...

, juniper berries and banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s. Seed-associated structures that do not fit these informal criteria are usually called by other names, such as vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s, pods, nut
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

, ears
Ear (botany)
An ear is the grain-bearing tip part of the stem of a cereal plant, such as wheat or maize. It can also refer to "a prominent lobe in some leaves".The ear is a spike, consisting of a central stem on which grows tightly packed rows of flowers...

 and cones
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

.

In biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 (botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

), a "fruit" is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues
Tissue (biology)
Tissue is a cellular organizational level intermediate between cells and a complete organism. A tissue is an ensemble of cells, not necessarily identical, but from the same origin, that together carry out a specific function. These are called tissues because of their identical functioning...

 of the flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

, mainly one or more ovaries
Ovary (plants)
In the flowering plants, an ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower or gynoecium. Specifically, it is the part of the pistil which holds the ovule and is located above or below or at the point of connection with the base of the petals and sepals...

. Taken strictly, this definition excludes many structures that are "fruits" in the common sense of the term, such as those produced by non-flowering plants (like juniper berries, which are the seed-containing female cones
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

 of conifers
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

.) On the other hand, the botanical sense includes many structures that are not commonly called "fruits", such as bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

 pods, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 kernels
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 grains, tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

es, the section of a fungus
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

 that produces spore
Spore
In biology, a spore is a reproductive structure that is adapted for dispersal and surviving for extended periods of time in unfavorable conditions. Spores form part of the life cycles of many bacteria, plants, algae, fungi and some protozoa. According to scientist Dr...

s, and many more. However, there are several variants of the biological definition of fruit that emphasize different aspects of the enormous variety that is found among plant fruits.

Fruits (in either sense of the word) are the means by which many plants disseminate seeds. Most plants bearing edible fruits, in particular, coevolved with animals
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

 in a symbiotic relationship
Symbiosis
Symbiosis is close and often long-term interaction between different biological species. In 1877 Bennett used the word symbiosis to describe the mutualistic relationship in lichens...

 as a means for seed dispersal
Seed dispersal
Seed dispersal is the movement or transport of seeds away from the parent plant. Plants have limited mobility and consequently rely upon a variety of dispersal vectors to transport their propagules, including both abiotic and biotic vectors. Seeds can be dispersed away from the parent plant...

 and nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

, respectively; in fact, many animals (including humans to some extent) have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Fruits account for a substantial fraction of world's agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings.

Botanic fruit and culinary fruit



Many fruits that, in a botanical sense, are true fruits are actually treated as vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s in cooking
Cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

 and food preparation, because they are not particularly sweet. These culinary vegetables include cucurbits
Cucurbitaceae
The plant family Cucurbitaceae consists of various squashes, melons, and gourds, including crops such as cucumber, pumpkins, luffas, and watermelons...

 (e.g., squash, pumpkin
Pumpkin
A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae . It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America...

, and cucumber
Cucumber
The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

), tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

es, pea
Pea
A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a flower. However, peas are considered to be a vegetable in cooking...

s, bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

s, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, eggplant, and sweet pepper
Bell pepper
Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper and capsicum , is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum . Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange and green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as...

. In addition, some spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s, such as allspice
Allspice
Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice, is a spice that is the dried unripe fruit of Pimenta dioica , a mid-canopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world...

 and chilies
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

, are fruits, botanically speaking.
In contrast, occasionally a culinary "fruit" is not a true fruit in the botanical sense. For example, rhubarb
Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a group of plants that belong to the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. They are herbaceous perennial plants growing from short, thick rhizomes. They have large leaves that are somewhat triangular-shaped with long fleshy petioles...

 is often referred to as a fruit, because it is used to make sweet desserts such as pies, though only the petiole
Petiole (botany)
In botany, the petiole is the stalk attaching the leaf blade to the stem. The petiole usually has the same internal structure as the stem. Outgrowths appearing on each side of the petiole are called stipules. Leaves lacking a petiole are called sessile, or clasping when they partly surround the...

 of the rhubarb plant is edible. In the culinary sense of these words, a fruit is usually any sweet-tasting plant product, especially those associated with seed(s), a vegetable is any savoury or less sweet plant product, and a nut is any hard, oily, and shelled plant product.

Technically, a cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 grain is also a kind of fruit, a kind which is termed a caryopsis
Caryopsis
In botany, a caryopsis is a type of simple dry fruit — one that is monocarpelate and indehiscent and resembles an achene, except that in a caryopsis the pericarp is fused with the thin seed coat....

. However, the fruit wall is very thin, and is fused to the seed coat, so almost all of the edible grain is actually a seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

. Therefore, cereal grains, such as corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 and rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 are better considered as edible seeds, although some references do list them as fruits. Edible gymnosperm seeds are often misleadingly given fruit names, e.g., pine nuts
Pine nut
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines . About 20 species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting; in other pines the seeds are also edible, but are too small to be of great value as a human food....

, ginkgo nuts, and juniper berries
Juniper berry
A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species, especially Juniperus communis, are used as a spice,...

.

Fruit development



A fruit results from maturation of one or more flowers, and the gynoecium
Gynoecium
Gynoecium is most commonly used as a collective term for all carpels in a flower. A carpel is the ovule and seed producing reproductive organ in flowering plants. Carpels are derived from ovule-bearing leaves which evolved to form a closed structure containing the ovules...

 of the flower(s) forms all or part of the fruit.

Inside the ovary/ovaries are one or more ovule
Ovule
Ovule means "small egg". In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells. It consists of three parts: The integument forming its outer layer, the nucellus , and the megaspore-derived female gametophyte in its center...

s where the megagametophyte contains the mega gamete or egg cell. After double fertilization
Double fertilization
Double fertilization is a complex fertilization mechanism that has evolved in flowering plants . This process involves the joining of a female gametophyte with two male gametes . It begins when a pollen grain adheres to the stigma of the carpel, the female reproductive structure of a flower...

, these ovules will become seeds. The ovules are fertilized in a process that starts with pollination
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

, which involves the movement of pollen from the stamens to the stigma of flowers. After pollination, a tube grows from the pollen through the stigma into the ovary to the ovule and two sperm are transferred from the pollen to the megagametophyte. Within the megagametophyte one of the two sperm unites with the egg, forming a zygote
Zygote
A zygote , or zygocyte, is the initial cell formed when two gamete cells are joined by means of sexual reproduction. In multicellular organisms, it is the earliest developmental stage of the embryo...

, and the second sperm enters the central cell forming the endosperm mother cell, which completes the double fertilization process. Later the zygote will give rise to the embryo of the seed, and the endosperm mother cell will give rise to endosperm
Endosperm
Endosperm is the tissue produced inside the seeds of most flowering plants around the time of fertilization. It surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition in the form of starch, though it can also contain oils and protein. This makes endosperm an important source of nutrition in human diet...

, a nutritive tissue used by the embryo.

As the ovules develop into seeds, the ovary begins to ripen and the ovary wall, the pericarp, may become fleshy (as in berries or drupe
Drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

s), or form a hard outer covering (as in nuts). In some multiseeded fruits, the extent to which the flesh develops is proportional to the number of fertilized ovules.
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 petal
Petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...

s, sepal
Sepal
A sepal is a part of the flower of angiosperms . Collectively the sepals form the calyx, which is the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. Usually green, sepals have the typical function of protecting the petals when the flower is in bud...

s, and stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s), fuse with the ovary and ripen with it. In other cases, the sepal
Sepal
A sepal is a part of the flower of angiosperms . Collectively the sepals form the calyx, which is the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. Usually green, sepals have the typical function of protecting the petals when the flower is in bud...

s, petal
Petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...

s and/or stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s and style
Gynoecium
Gynoecium is most commonly used as a collective term for all carpels in a flower. A carpel is the ovule and seed producing reproductive organ in flowering plants. Carpels are derived from ovule-bearing leaves which evolved to form a closed structure containing the ovules...

 of the flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

 fall off. When such other floral parts are a significant part of the fruit, it is called an accessory fruit
Accessory fruit
An accessory fruit is a fruit in which some of the flesh is derived not from the ovary but from some adjacent tissue exterior to the carpel. Examples of accessory tissue are the receptacle of strawberries, figs, or mulberries, and the calyx of Gaultheria procumbens or Syzygium jambos...

. 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 diverse that it is difficult to devise a classification scheme that includes all known fruits. 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
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

 is not a type of fruit and not another term for seed, on the contrary to common terminology.

There are three general modes of fruit development:
  • Apocarpous fruits develop from a single flower having one or more separate carpels, and they are the simplest fruits.
  • Syncarpous fruits develop from a single gynoecium having two or more carpels fused together.
  • Multiple fruits form from many different flowers.


Plant scientists have grouped fruits into three main groups, simple fruits, aggregate fruits, and composite or multiple fruits. The groupings are not evolutionarily relevant, since many diverse plant taxa may be in the same group, but reflect how the flower organs are arranged and how the fruits develop.

Simple fruit


Simple fruits can be either dry or fleshy, and result from the ripening of a simple or compound ovary in a flower 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 of each, are:
  • achene
    Achene
    An achene is a type of simple dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. Achenes are monocarpellate and indehiscent...

     - Most commonly seen in aggregate fruits (e.g. strawberry
    Strawberry
    Fragaria is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain. There...

    )
  • capsule
    Capsule (fruit)
    In botany a capsule is a type of simple, dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. A capsule is a structure composed of two or more carpels that in most cases is dehiscent, i.e. at maturity, it splits apart to release the seeds within. A few capsules are indehiscent, for example...

     – (Brazil nut
    Brazil Nut
    The Brazil nut is a South American tree in the family Lecythidaceae, and also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seed.- Order :...

    )
  • caryopsis
    Caryopsis
    In botany, a caryopsis is a type of simple dry fruit — one that is monocarpelate and indehiscent and resembles an achene, except that in a caryopsis the pericarp is fused with the thin seed coat....

     – (wheat
    Wheat
    Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

    )
  • Cypsela
    Achene
    An achene is a type of simple dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. Achenes are monocarpellate and indehiscent...

     - An achene-like fruit derived from the individual florets in a capitulum
    Head (botany)
    The capitulum is considered the most derived form of inflorescence. Flower heads found outside Asteraceae show lesser degrees of specialization....

     (e.g. dandelion).
  • fibrous drupe
    Drupe
    In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

     – (coconut
    Coconut
    The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

    , walnut
    Walnut
    Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

    )
  • follicle
    Follicle (fruit)
    In botany, a follicle is a dry unilocular many-seeded fruit formed from one carpel and dehiscing by the ventral suture in order to release seeds, such as in larkspur, magnolia, banksia, peony and milkweed....

     – is formed from a single carpel, and opens by one suture (e.g. milkweed). More commonly seen in aggregate fruits (e.g. magnolia
    Magnolia
    Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. It is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol....

    )
  • legume – (pea
    Pea
    A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a flower. However, peas are considered to be a vegetable in cooking...

    , bean
    Bean
    Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

    , peanut
    Peanut
    The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

    )
  • loment
    Loment
    A loment is a type of modified legume that breaks apart at constrictions occurring between the segments of the seeds. Being a legume, it is dry at maturity and is dehiscent, meaning that it will split open at maturity....

     - a type of indehiscent legume
  • nut
    Nut (fruit)
    A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

     – (hazelnut
    Hazelnut
    A hazelnut is the nut of the hazel and is also known as a cob nut or filbert nut according to species. A cob is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. A filbert is more elongated, being about twice...

    , beech
    Beech
    Beech is a genus of ten species of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia and North America.-Habit:...

    , oak acorn
    Acorn
    The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives . It usually contains a single seed , enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad...

    )
  • samara
    Samara (fruit)
    A samara is a type of fruit in which a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue develops from the ovary wall. A samara is a simple dry fruit and indehiscent . It is a winged achene...

     – (elm
    Elm
    Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

    , ash
    Ash tree
    Fraxinus is a genus flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45-65 species of usually medium to large trees, mostly deciduous though a few subtropical species are evergreen. The tree's common English name, ash, goes back to the Old English æsc, while the generic name...

    , maple
    Maple
    Acer is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple.Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in...

     key)
  • schizocarp
    Schizocarp
    A schizocarp is a dry fruit that develops from multiple carpels. When mature it splits up into mericarps. Mericarps are often 1-seeded as in, for example, Malva, Malvastrum, and Sida...

     – (carrot
    Carrot
    The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

     seed)
  • silique
    Silique
    A silique or siliqua is a fruit of 2 fused carpels with the length being more than three times the width. The outer walls of the ovary usually separate when ripe, leaving a persistent partition...

     – (radish
    Radish
    The radish is an edible root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family that was domesticated in Europe, in pre-Roman times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world. Radishes have numerous varieties, varying in size, color and duration of required cultivation time...

     seed)
  • silicle – (shepherd's purse
    Shepherd's Purse
    Capsella bursa-pastoris, known by its common name shepherd's-purse because of its triangular, purse-like pods, is a small annual and ruderal species, and a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family...

    )
  • utricle – (beet
    Beet
    The beet is a plant in the Chenopodiaceae family which is now included in Amaranthaceae family. It is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, the most well known of which is the purple root vegetable known as the beetroot or garden beet...

    )


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:
  • berry
    Berry
    The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

     – (redcurrant
    Redcurrant
    The redcurrant , Ribes rubrum, is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, native to parts of western Europe...

    , gooseberry
    Gooseberry
    The gooseberry or ; Ribes uva-crispa, syn. R. grossularia) is a species of Ribes, native to Europe, northwestern Africa and southwestern Asia...

    , tomato
    Tomato
    The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

    , cranberry
    Cranberry
    Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

    )
  • stone fruit or drupe
    Drupe
    In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

     (plum
    Plum
    A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

    , cherry
    Cherry
    The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

    , peach
    Peach
    The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

    , apricot
    Apricot
    The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.- Description :...

    , olive
    Olive
    The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

    )



An aggregate fruit, or etaerio, develops from a single flower with numerous simple pistils.
  • Magnolia
    Magnolia
    Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. It is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol....

     and Peony
    Peony
    Peony or paeony is a name for plants in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America...

    , collection of follicles developing from one flower.
  • Sweet gum, collection of capsules.
  • Sycamore
    Sycamore
    Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms....

    , collection of achenes.
  • Teasel, collection of cypsellas
  • Tuliptree, collection of samaras.


The pome
Pome
In botany, a pome is a type of fruit produced by flowering plants in the subfamily Maloideae of the family Rosaceae.A pome is an accessory fruit composed of one or more carpels surrounded by accessory tissue...

 fruits of the family Rosaceae
Rosaceae
Rosaceae are a medium-sized family of flowering plants, including about 2830 species in 95 genera. The name is derived from the type genus Rosa. Among the largest genera are Alchemilla , Sorbus , Crataegus , Cotoneaster , and Rubus...

, (including apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

s, pear
Pear
The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent....

s, rosehips, and saskatoon berry
Saskatoon berry
Amelanchier alnifolia, the saskatoon, saskatoon berry, serviceberry, sarvisberry or juneberry is a shrub with edible berry-like fruit, native to North America from Alaska across most of western Canada and in the western and north central United States. Historically it was also called "pigeon berry"...

) are a syncarpous fleshy fruit, a simple fruit, developing from a half-inferior ovary.

Schizocarp
Schizocarp
A schizocarp is a dry fruit that develops from multiple carpels. When mature it splits up into mericarps. Mericarps are often 1-seeded as in, for example, Malva, Malvastrum, and Sida...

 fruits form from a syncarpous ovary and do not really dehisce
Dehiscence (botany)
Dehiscence is the opening, at maturity, in a pre-defined way, of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents. Sometimes this involves the complete detachment of a part. Structures that open in this way are said to be dehiscent...

, but split into segments with one or more seeds; they include a number of different forms from a wide range of families. Carrot seed is an example.

Aggregate fruit



Aggregate fruits form from single flowers that have multiple carpels which are not joined together, i.e. each pistil contains one carpel. Each pistil forms a fruitlet, and collectively the fruitlets are called an etaerio. Four types of aggregate fruits include etaerios of achenes, follicles, drupelets, and berries. Ranunculaceae species, including Clematis
Clematis
Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862; more hybrid cultivars are being produced constantly. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese...

and Ranunculus
Ranunculus
Ranunculus is a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae. Members of the genus include the buttercups, spearworts, water crowfoots and the lesser celandine....

have an etaerio of achenes, Calotropis
Calotropis
Calotropis is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. They are commonly known as milkweeds because of the sap they produce. Calotropis species are considered common weeds in some parts of the world. The flowers are fragrant and are often used in making floral tassels in...

has an etaerio of follicles, and Rubus
Rubus
Rubus is a large genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, subfamily Rosoideae. Raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries are common, widely distributed members of the genus. Most of these plants have woody stems with prickles like roses; spines, bristles, and gland-tipped hairs are...

species like raspberry, have an etaerio of drupelets. Annona
Annona
Annona is a genus of flowering plants in the pawpaw/sugar apple family, Annonaceae. It is the second largest genus in the family after Guatteria, containing approximately 110 species of mostly neotropical and afrotropical trees and shrubs....

have Etaerio of berries.

The raspberry
Raspberry
The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

, whose pistils are termed drupelets because each is like a small drupe
Drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

 attached to the receptacle. In some bramble
Bramble
Brambles are thorny plants of the genus Rubus, in the rose family . Bramble fruit is the fruit of any such plant, including the blackberry and raspberry. The word comes from Germanic *bram-bezi, whence also German Brombeere , Dutch Braam and French framboise...

 fruits (such as blackberry
Blackberry
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial roots. Blackberries and...

) the receptacle is elongated and part of the ripe fruit, making the blackberry an aggregate-accessory fruit. The strawberry
Strawberry
Fragaria is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain. There...

 is also an aggregate-accessory fruit, only one in which the seeds are contained in achene
Achene
An achene is a type of simple dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. Achenes are monocarpellate and indehiscent...

s. In all these examples, the fruit develops from a single flower with numerous pistils.

Multiple fruits



A multiple fruit is one formed from a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence
Inflorescence
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Strictly, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified...

). Each flower produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass. Examples are the pineapple
Pineapple
Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit, which is actually a multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae...

, fig
Ficus
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

, mulberry
Mulberry
Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries....

, osage-orange
Osage-orange
Maclura pomifera, commonly called Osage-orange, hedge-apple, Horse-apple, Bois D'Arc, or Bodark, is a small deciduous tree or large shrub, typically growing to tall. It is dioeceous, with male and female flowers on different plants...

, and breadfruit
Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

.


In the photograph on the right, stages of flowering and fruit development in the noni
Noni
Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai , dog dumpling , mengkudu , Kumudu , pace , beach mulberry, cheese fruit or noni is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae...

 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.

Fruit chart


To summarize common types of fleshy fruit (examples follow in the table below):
  • Berry
    Berry
    The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

     – simple fruit and seeds created from a single ovary
    • Pepo
      Berry
      The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

       – Berries where the skin is hardened, like cucurbits
      Cucurbitaceae
      The plant family Cucurbitaceae consists of various squashes, melons, and gourds, including crops such as cucumber, pumpkins, luffas, and watermelons...

    • Hesperidium
      Hesperidium
      A hesperidium is a modified fruit with a tough, leathery rind. The peel contains volatile oil glands in pits. The fleshy interior is composed of separate sections, called carpels, filled with fluid-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells.The outer ovary wall becomes the thick...

       – Berries with a rind and a juicy interior, like most citrus
      Citrus
      Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

       fruit
  • Compound fruit
    Compound fruit
    A compound fruit is one that develops from several ovaries in either a single flower or multiple flowers. In contrast, a simple fruit develops from one ovary.image:Longitudinal section of raspberry flower.gif...

    , which includes:
    • Aggregate fruit – with seeds from different ovaries of a single flower
    • Multiple fruit
      Multiple fruit
      Multiple fruits are fruits that are formed from a cluster of flowers . Each flower in the inflorescence produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass...

       – fruits of separate flowers, merged or packed closely together
  • Accessory fruit
    Accessory fruit
    An accessory fruit is a fruit in which some of the flesh is derived not from the ovary but from some adjacent tissue exterior to the carpel. Examples of accessory tissue are the receptacle of strawberries, figs, or mulberries, and the calyx of Gaultheria procumbens or Syzygium jambos...

     – where some or all of the edible part is not generated by the ovary
    Types of fleshy fruits
    True berry Pepo Hesperidium Aggregate fruit Multiple fruit Accessory fruit
    Blackcurrant
    Blackcurrant
    Blackcurrant, Ribes nigrum, is a species of Ribes berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia, and is a perennial....

    , Redcurrant
    Redcurrant
    The redcurrant , Ribes rubrum, is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, native to parts of western Europe...

    , Gooseberry
    Gooseberry
    The gooseberry or ; Ribes uva-crispa, syn. R. grossularia) is a species of Ribes, native to Europe, northwestern Africa and southwestern Asia...

    , Tomato
    Tomato
    The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

    , Eggplant, Guava
    Guava
    Guavas are plants in the myrtle family genus Psidium , which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America...

    , Lucuma
    Lúcuma
    The lúcuma is a subtropical fruit native to the Peru's Andean region. Lucuma has been found on ceramics at burial sites of the indigenous people of coastal Peru...

    , Chili pepper
    Chili pepper
    Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

    , Pomegranate
    Pomegranate
    The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

    , Kiwifruit
    Kiwifruit
    The kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi in many parts of the world, is the edible berry of a cultivar group of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia....

    , Grape
    Grape
    A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

    , Cranberry
    Cranberry
    Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. In some methods of classification, Oxycoccus is regarded as a genus in its own right...

    , Blueberry
    Blueberry
    Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue berries and are perennial...

    Pumpkin
    Pumpkin
    A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae . It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America...

    , Gourd
    Gourd
    A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae. Gourd is occasionally used to describe crops like cucumbers, squash, luffas, and melons. The term 'gourd' however, can more specifically, refer to the plants of the two Cucurbitaceae genera Lagenaria and Cucurbita or also to their hollow dried out shell...

    , Cucumber
    Cucumber
    The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

    , Melon
    Melon
    thumb|200px|Various types of melonsThis list of melons includes members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae with edible, fleshy fruit e.g. gourds or cucurbits. The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit...

    Orange
    Orange (fruit)
    An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

    , Lemon
    Lemon
    The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

    , Lime
    Lime (fruit)
    Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and...

    , Grapefruit
    Grapefruit
    The grapefruit , is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock , one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange The...

    Blackberry
    Blackberry
    The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial roots. Blackberries and...

    , Raspberry
    Raspberry
    The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

    , Boysenberry
    Boysenberry
    A boysenberry is a cross between a European Raspberry , a Common Blackberry , and a Loganberry ....

    Pineapple
    Pineapple
    Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit, which is actually a multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae...

    , Fig
    Ficus
    Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

    , Mulberry
    Mulberry
    Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries....

    , Hedge apple
    Apple
    Apple
    The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

    , Rose hip
    Rose hip
    The rose hip, or rose haw, is the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form in spring, and ripen in late summer through autumn.-Usage:...

    , Strawberry
    Strawberry
    Fragaria is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain. There...


Seedless fruits



Seedlessness is an important feature of some fruits of commerce. Commercial cultivars of banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s and pineapples are examples of seedless fruit
Seedless fruit
A seedless fruit is a fruit developed to possess no mature seeds. As consumption of seedless fruits is generally easier and more convenient, they are considered commercially valuable....

s. Some cultivars of citrus
Citrus
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

 fruits (especially navel oranges
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

), satsuma
Mikan
The satsuma is a seedless and easy-peeling citrus mutant of Japanese origin introduced to the West.In Japan, it is known as mikan or formally unshu mikan . In China, it is known as Wenzhou migan . The Japanese name is a result of the local reading of the same characters used in the Chinese...

s, mandarin orange
Mandarin orange
The orange, also known as the ' or mandarine , is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain or in fruit salads...

s, table grape
Table grape
Table grapes are grapes intended for consumption while they are fresh, as opposed to grapes grown for wine production, juice production, or for drying into raisins....

s, grapefruit
Grapefruit
The grapefruit , is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock , one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange The...

, and watermelon
Watermelon
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

s are valued for their seedlessness. In some species, seedlessness is the result of parthenocarpy
Parthenocarpy
In botany and horticulture, parthenocarpy is the natural or artificially induced production of fruit without fertilization of ovules. The fruit is therefore seedless. Stenospermocarpy may also produce apparently seedless fruit, but the seeds are actually aborted while still small...

, where fruits set without fertilization. Parthenocarpic fruit set may or may not require pollination but most seedless citrus fruits require stimulus from pollination to produce fruit.

Seedless bananas and grapes are triploids, and seedlessness results from the abortion of the embryo
Embryo
An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination...

nic plant that is produced by fertilization, a phenomenon known as stenospermocarpy
Stenospermocarpy
Stenospermocarpy is the biological mechanism that produces seedlessness in some fruits, notably many table grapes. In stenospermocarpic fruits, normal pollination and fertilization are still required to ensure that the fruit 'sets', i.e...

which requires normal pollination and fertilization.

Seed dissemination


Variations in fruit structures largely depend on the mode of dispersal
Biological dispersal
Biological dispersal refers to species movement away from an existing population or away from the parent organism. Through simply moving from one habitat patch to another, the dispersal of an individual has consequences not only for individual fitness, but also for population dynamics, population...

 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 animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s or to stick to the hair
Hair
Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Found exclusively in mammals, hair is one of the defining characteristics of the mammalian class....

s, feathers or legs of animals, using them as dispersal agents. Examples include cocklebur
Cocklebur
Cockleburs are a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to the Americas and eastern Asia.-Growth:They are coarse, herbaceous annual plants growing to 19.69-47.24 in tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, with a deeply toothed margin. Some species, notably X...

 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
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

 are appealing to rodents (such as squirrel
Squirrel
Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots , flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa and have been introduced to Australia...

s) who hoard
Hoarding
Hoarding or caching is a general term for a behavior that leads people or animals to accumulate food or other items in anticipation of future need or scarcity.-Animal behavior:...

 them in the soil in order to avoid starving during the winter, thus giving those seeds that remain uneaten the chance to germinate
Germination
Germination is the process in which a plant or fungus emerges from a seed or spore, respectively, and begins growth. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. However the growth of a sporeling from a spore, for example the...

 and grow into a new plant away from their parent.

Other fruits are elongated and flattened out naturally and so become thin, like wing
Wing
A wing is an appendage with a surface that produces lift for flight or propulsion through the atmosphere, or through another gaseous or liquid fluid...

s or helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 blades, e.g. maple
Maple
Acer is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple.Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in...

, tuliptree and elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

. This is an evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

ary mechanism to increase dispersal distance
Distance
Distance is a numerical description of how far apart objects are. In physics or everyday discussion, distance may refer to a physical length, or an estimation based on other criteria . In mathematics, a distance function or metric is a generalization of the concept of physical distance...

 away from the parent via wind. Other wind-dispersed fruit have tiny parachutes, e.g. dandelion and salsify
Salsify
Tragopogon, also known as salsify or goatsbeard, is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family Asteraceae that has over 140 species, including the vegetable known as salsify, as well as a number of common wild flowers, some of which are usually regarded as weeds.Salsifies are forbs growing...

.

Coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 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
Sandbox Tree
Hura crepitans , the Sandbox tree, also known as Possumwood and Jabillo, is an evergreen tree of the spurge family , native to tropical regions of North and South America in Amazon Rainforest. It is recognized by the many dark, pointed spines and smooth brown bark...

) via explosive dehiscence or other mechanisms, e.g. impatiens
Impatiens
Impatiens is a genus of about 850–1,000 species of flowering plants, widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and tropics. Together with the puzzling Hydrocera triflora, this genus makes up the family Balsaminaceae...

 and squirting cucumber.

Uses



Many hundreds of fruits, including fleshy fruits like apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

, peach
Peach
The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

, pear
Pear
The pear is any of several tree species of genus Pyrus and also the name of the pomaceous fruit of these trees. Several species of pear are valued by humans for their edible fruit, but the fruit of other species is small, hard, and astringent....

, kiwifruit
Kiwifruit
The kiwifruit, often shortened to kiwi in many parts of the world, is the edible berry of a cultivar group of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia....

, watermelon
Watermelon
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

 and mango
Mango
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

 are commercially valuable as human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 food, eaten both fresh and as jams, marmalade
Marmalade
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits, boiled with sugar and water. The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the "Seville orange" from Spain, Citrus aurantium var...

 and other preserves
Food preservation
Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or slow down spoilage and thus allow for longer storage....

. Fruits are also in manufactured foods like cookie
Cookie
In the United States and Canada, a cookie is a small, flat, baked treat, usually containing fat, flour, eggs and sugar. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the most common word for this is biscuit; in many regions both terms are used, while in others the two words have...

s, muffin
Muffin
A muffin is an American English name for a type of quick bread that is baked in small portions. Many forms are somewhat like small cakes or cupcakes in shape, although they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting. Savory varieties, such as cornbread muffins, also exist...

s, yoghurt
Yoghurt
Yoghurt, yogurt or yogourt is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as "yoghurt cultures"...

, ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

, cake
Cake
Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet and enriched baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape...

s, and many more. Many fruits are used to make beverages, such as fruit juices (orange juice
Orange juice
Orange juice is a popular beverage made from oranges. It is made by extraction from the fresh fruit, by desiccation and subsequent reconstitution of dried juice, or by concentration of the juice and the subsequent addition of water to the concentrate...

, apple juice
Apple juice
Apple juice is a fruit juice manufactured by the maceration and pressing of apples. The resulting expelled juice may be further treated by enzymatic and centrifugal clarification to remove the starch and pectin, which holds fine particulate in suspension, and then pasteurized for packaging in...

, grape juice
Grape juice
Grape juice is obtained from crushing and blending grapes into a liquid. The juice is often sold in stores or fermented and made into wine, brandy, or vinegar. In the wine industry, grape juice that contains 7-23 percent of pulp, skins, stems and seeds is often referred to as "must"...

, etc.) or alcoholic beverages, such as wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 or brandy
Brandy
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink...

. Apple
Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

s are often used to make vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

. Fruits are also used for gift giving, Fruit Basket and Fruit Bouquet are some common forms of fruit gifts.

Many vegetables are botanical fruits, including tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

, bell pepper
Bell pepper
Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper and capsicum , is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum . Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange and green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as...

, eggplant, okra
Okra
Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins...

, squash
Squash (fruit)
Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita, also called marrows depending on variety or the nationality of the speaker...

, pumpkin
Pumpkin
A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae . It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America...

, green bean
Green bean
Green beans , also known as French beans , are the unripe fruit of any kind of bean, including the yardlong bean, the hyacinth bean, the winged bean, and especially the common bean , whose pods are also usually called string beans in the northeastern and western United States, but can also be...

, cucumber
Cucumber
The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

 and zucchini
Zucchini
The zucchini is a summer squash which often grows to nearly a meter in length, but which is usually harvested at half that size or less. It is a hybrid of the cucumber. Along with certain other squashes, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green...

. Olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 fruit is pressed for olive oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

. Spices like vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

, paprika
Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from the grinding of dried fruits of Capsicum annuum . In many European languages, the word paprika refers to bell peppers themselves. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot...

, allspice
Allspice
Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice, is a spice that is the dried unripe fruit of Pimenta dioica , a mid-canopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world...

 and black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

 are derived from berries.

Nutritional value


Fruits are generally high in fiber
Fiber
Fiber is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread.They are very important in the biology of both plants and animals, for holding tissues together....

, water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

 and sugars, although this latter varies widely from traces as in lime, to 61% of the fresh weight of the date. Fruits also contain various phytochemicals that do not yet have an RDA/RDI listing under most nutritional factsheets, and which research indicates are required for proper long-term cellular health and disease prevention. Regular consumption of fruit is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease (especially coronary heart disease), stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging.

Diets that include a sufficient amount of potassium from fruits and vegetables also help reduce the chance of developing kidney stones and may help reduce the effects of bone-loss. Fruits are also low in calories which would help lower one's calorie intake as part of a weight-loss diet.

Nonfood uses


Because fruits have been such a major part of the human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 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
Nelumbo
Nelumbo is a genus of aquatic plants with large, showy flowers resembling water lilies, commonly known as lotus. The generic name is derived from the Sinhalese word Nelum. There are only two known living species in the genus. The sacred lotus is native to Asia, and is the better known of the two...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, annual honesty
Annual honesty
Annual Honesty is a tall , hairy-stemmed biennial plant native to the Balkans and south west Asia, and naturalized throughout Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. It has large, pointed oval leaves with marked serrations...

 and milkweed. Ornamental tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s and shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s are often cultivated for their colorful fruits, including holly
Holly
Ilex) is a genus of 400 to 600 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers from tropics to temperate zones world wide....

, pyracantha
Pyracantha
Pyracantha is a genus of thorny evergreen large shrubs in the family Rosaceae, with common names Firethorn or Pyracantha. They are native to an area extending from Southeast Europe east to Southeast Asia, resemble and are related to Cotoneaster, but have serrated leaf margins and numerous thorns...

, viburnum
Viburnum
Viburnum is a genus of about 150–175 species of shrubs or small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. Its current classification is based on molecular phylogeny...

, skimmia
Skimmia
Skimmia is a genus of four species of evergreen shrubs and small trees in the Rue family, Rutaceae, all native to warm temperate regions of Asia. The leaves are clustered at the ends of the shoots, simple, lanceolate, 6-21 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The flowers are in...

, beautyberry
Beautyberry
Beautyberry is a genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Verbenaceae; between 40-150 species are accepted by different botanists. They are native to east and southeast Asia , Australia, southeast North America and Central America.-Growth:The temperate species are deciduous, the tropical...

 and cotoneaster
Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster is a genus of woody plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, native to the Palaearctic region , with a strong concentration of diversity in the genus in the mountains of southwestern China and the Himalayas...

.

Fruits of opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 are the source of opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 which contains the drugs morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and codeine, as well as the biologically inactive chemical theabaine from which the drug oxycodone is synthysized. Osage orange fruits are used to repel cockroach
Cockroach
Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattaria or Blattodea, of which about 30 species out of 4,500 total are associated with human habitations...

es. Bayberry fruits provide a wax often used to make candles. Many fruits provide natural dye
Natural dye
Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources – roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood — and other organic sources such as fungi and lichens....

s, e.g. walnut
Walnut
Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

, sumac
Sumac
Sumac is any one of approximately 250 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera, in the family Anacardiaceae. Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in Africa and North America....

, cherry
Cherry
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

 and mulberry
Mulberry
Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries....

. Dried gourd
Gourd
A gourd is a plant of the family Cucurbitaceae. Gourd is occasionally used to describe crops like cucumbers, squash, luffas, and melons. The term 'gourd' however, can more specifically, refer to the plants of the two Cucurbitaceae genera Lagenaria and Cucurbita or also to their hollow dried out shell...

s are used as decorations, water jugs, bird houses, musical instruments, cups and dishes. Pumpkin
Pumpkin
A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae . It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America...

s are carved into Jack-o'-lantern
Jack-o'-lantern
A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern...

s for Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

. The spiny fruit of burdock
Burdock
Burdock is any of a group of biennial thistles in the genus Arctium, family Asteraceae. Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide....

 or cocklebur
Cocklebur
Cockleburs are a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to the Americas and eastern Asia.-Growth:They are coarse, herbaceous annual plants growing to 19.69-47.24 in tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, with a deeply toothed margin. Some species, notably X...

 were the inspiration for the invention of Velcro
Velcro
Velcro is the brand name of the first commercially marketed fabric hook-and-loop fastener, invented in 1948 by the Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral...

.

Coir
Coir
Coir is a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes, mattresses etc. Technically coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. Other uses of brown coir are in upholstery...

 is a fibre from the fruit of coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 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.

Fruit is often used as a subject of still life paintings.

Safety


For food safety
Food safety
Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards....

, the CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...

 recommends proper fruit handling and preparation to reduce the risk of food contamination and foodborne illness
Foodborne illness
Foodborne illness is any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, as well as chemical or natural toxins such as poisonous mushrooms.-Causes:Foodborne illness usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or...

. Fresh fruits and vegetables should carefully be selected. At the store, they should not be damaged or bruised and pre-cut pieces should be refrigerated or surrounded by ice. All fruits and vegetables should be rinsed before eating. This recommendation also applies to produce with rinds or skins that are not eaten. It should be done just before preparing or eating to avoid premature spoilage. Fruits and vegetables should be kept separate from raw foods like meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as utensils that have come in contact with raw foods. Fruits and vegetables, if they are not going to be cooked, should be thrown away if they have touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. All cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated within two hours. After a certain time, harmful bacteria may grow on them and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

Storage


The plant hormone ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

 causes ripening
Ripening
Ripening is a process in fruits that causes them to become more palatable. In general, a fruit becomes sweeter, less green, and softer as it ripens. Even though the acidity of fruit increases as it ripens, the higher acidity level does not make the fruit seem tarter, which can lead to the...

 of many types of fruit. Maintaining most fruits in an efficient cold chain
Cold chain
A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range...

is optimal for post harvest storage, with the aim of extending and ensuring shelf life. All fruits benefit from proper post harvest care.

Further reading


Books
  • Terry, Leon A. (2011, editor). Health-promoting Properties of Fruit and Vegetables. CABI. ISBN 9781845935283
  • Gollner, Adam J. (2010). The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession. Scribner. ISBN 9780743296953
  • Rinn, R.C. / Carson, R.E. (2009). Harnessing the Healing Power of Fruits: The New Paradigm for Optimum Health. Siloam. ISBN 9781599791968
  • Watson, R.R. / Preedy, V.R. (2010, eds.). Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health: Fruits and Vegetables. Academic Press. ISBN 9780123746283


Journal articles on possible health benefits

External links