A fruit, in botany, is the part of a plant which has its seeds. Most fruits are edible (either sweet, as 'fruits' in general speech, or non-sweet, which is when we call them 'vegetables'), but some are poisonous. There are five different kinds of edible fruits:
- The berry, which is a mostly-flesh casing around a single seed. The strawberry, because it has its seeds on the outside, isn't a real berry, but blueberries, grapes and even avocados all are.
- The drupe, or a stone fruit, which has a fleshy part around a big, inedible stone (called a pit). For instance, peaches, plums and olives are all drupes.
- The pepo is a special berry with a thick skin called a 'rind' around the flesh. Pumpkins, and all kinds of melon, are pepos.
- The hesperidium is a berry with a softer rind around the flesh than a pepo. For instance, all citrus fruits are hesperidiums.
- The pome is like a drupe, but with softer tissue around the core, which is not eaten. Apples and pears are both pomes.
What is a fruit, and what isn't?[edit | edit source]
Blueberries, watermelons and oranges are botanically all fruits. So are tomatoes, avocadoes and olives. But what about other plants that we call fruits? Strawberries and blackberries are 'aggregate fruits' which means they have many seeds, and pineapples are 'multiple fruits' which have many flowers.