Biology - The Fruit


  • For the common people, fruits are nutritious and delicious edible things, but for a botanist, fruits are the seed-bearing structure found in flowering plants.

  • During the ancient period or even today, many of the animals including human beings are dependent on fruits (for their survival).

  • Likewise, fruit is usually fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant, which is edible in the raw state (not all types of fruits are edible, as some are poisonous) and tastes sweet or sour.

Structure of the Fruit

  • The layer, usually, surrounding the seeds, is known as ‘pericarp.’

  • Formed of ovary, pericarp is the edible part of fruit.

  • The pericarp further classified as epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp.

Seedless Fruits

  • Some fruits are seedless (such as banana), which have pretty high commercial importance.

  • Further, some fruits are scientifically developed seedless such as pineapples, grapes, etc.

Types of Fruits

  • Based on the fertilization of the flowers, fruit is classified as −

  • True Fruits − When the fruit forms in the ovary (of the flower) through fertilization is known as true fruit. E.g. strawberry.

  • False Fruits − The fruits formed some other means (other than ovary), such as calyx, thalamus, corolla, etc. known as false fruits. E.g. pear, apple, etc.

  • Further, because of verities and diversities, fruits are classified as −

  • Simple fruit − It can be either dry fruit (such as coconut, walnut, etc.) or fleshy (such as gooseberry, tomato, etc.).

  • Aggregate fruit − It is formed from single flowers, which have multiple carpels. E.g. raspberry.

  • Multiple fruit − It is formed from a cluster of flowers, e.g. pineapple, mulberry, etc.

Fruits and their Edible Parts

  • Following table illustrates the name of fruits and their edible parts −

Fruits Edible Parts
Apple Thalamus
Banana Mesocarp
Coconut Endosperm
Coriander Thalamus
Chinese date Epicarp & Mesocarp
Custurd apple Pericarp
Guava Pericarp
Grape Pericarp
Ground nut Seed leaves
Jack fruit Sepals
Lemon Juicy pore
Litchi Pulpy aerial
Mango Mesocarp
Mulberry Bract, sepals
Orange Juicy hair
Pear Thalamus
Papaya Pericarp
Tomato Pericarp
Wood apple Mesocarp