Fruits are the soft, pulpy part of a flowering plant that contains seeds. It is formed from the ovaries of angiosperms and is exclusive only to this group of plants. It is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering.
Types of Fruits
Based on the number of ovaries and the number of flowers involved in the fruit formation, They are classified into 4 types namely:
- Simple fruit: They grow from a single ovary of a single flowering plant. For example, bananas, grapes, tomatoes, etc.
- Aggregate fruit: These are formed 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 fruits are called an etaerio, For example, blackberry and raspberry.
- Multiple fruits: They are formed from a cluster of flowers. Each flower produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass. Examples are pineapple, fig, mulberry, and breadfruit.
- Accessory fruits: all of the edible parts of accessory fruit are not generated by the ovary. Accessory fruit can be simple, aggregate, or multiple, i.e., they can include one or more pistils and other parts from the same flower, or the pistils and other parts of many flowers.
Parts of a Fruit
A fruit comprises the following parts:
1. Pericarp: It is the wall of the ovary that develops as the wall of the fruits. The pericarp of the fruits might be fleshy as in guava, mango, etc. or might be dry as in mustard, walnut, etc. The pericarp is further differentiated into three layers, namely:
- Epicarp: Outermost layer, forms the peel.
- Mesocarp: Middle layer, fleshy, edible portion of the fruits
- Endocarp: Innermost layer, the inner rough portion where the seed is accommodated
2. Seeds: Seeds are ripened fertilized ovules. It is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering.