Fruit Types

Fruit TypeCharacteristicsExamples
Follicle Develops from single-carpel ovary;
Splits open down one side
Columbines, milkweeds
Legume Develops from single-carpel ovary;
Splits open along both sides
Pea family (Leguminosae);
All peas and beans
Silique Develops from two-carpel ovary;
Halves fall away, leaving seeds
attached to persistent, central wall
Mustard family
Capsule Develops from compound ovary with
two or more carpels; capsules dehisce
Cotton, poppy,
primrose, Pinks
Achene Small, one-seeded fruit; pericarp is
easily separable from seed coat
"Dry" fruit of strawberry,
buckwheat, and sunflower
family (Compositae)
Samara Winged, one-or two-seeded achene-like
fruit; wing(s) form from outgrowth of
ovary wall
Elms, ash, maples
Caryopsis One-seeded, usually small fruit with
pericarp completely fused to seed coat
"Grain" of all grass family
(Gramineae); includes wheat,
oats, rice, corn, barley, rye,
and other important grasses
Nut One seeded fruit with hard pericarp
Walnut, hazelnut, chestnut,
Fruit TypeCharacteristicsExamples
Berry Two or more carpel ovary, each usually
many seeds; inner layer of pericarp
(mesocarp and endocarp) is fleshy
Tomatoes, grapes, dates
Hesperidium Berry with thick, leathery "peel"
(exocarp and mesocarp) and juicy
pulpy endocarp arranged in sections
Juice sac from ovary wall
Oranges, grapefruit, lemons,
limes; all citrus fruit; rind
has oil glands
Pepo Berry with outer wall or rind formed
from receptacle tissue fused to exocarp;
Fleshy interior is mesocarp and endocarp
Gourd family (Cucurbitaceae),
including cucumbers,
watermelons, squash, pumpkin
Drupe Usually only one-carpel ovary and with
only one seed developing; endocarp is
hard and stony, fitting closely around
seed; mesocarp is fleshy, and fruit is
thin skinned (thin, soft exocarp)
Many members of rose family
(Rosaceae), including cherry,
peach, plum, almond, apricot;
not in the Rosaceae: olive and
coconut are also drupes
(Coconut has fibrous outer coat
rather than fleshy one)
Pome From compound, inferior ovary (one
embedded in surrounding receptacle or
perianth tissue); fleshy edible part is
ripened tissue surrounding ovary, which
matures into "core" and contains seed
Apples and pears, both members
of subfamily of Rosaceae
Aggregate and Multiple Fruit
Development of numerous simple carpels
from a single flower, some are dry fruit
attached to fleshy receptacle, others an
aggregation of simple fleshy fruit (drupes)
Strawberry, blackberry,
Individual ovaries of many separate flowers
clustered together
Mulberry, pineapple, fig

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