The fruit is the angiosperm organ responsible for protecting the seeds. It comes from the development of the ovary after fertilization. Have you noticed how many different fruits there are?
The fruit is the angiosperm organ responsible for protecting the seeds. It comes from the development of the ovary after fertilization .
The protection of the seed is the main function of the fruit, however, they have some more functions to assist in the dispersion of the seed and to promote the propagation of the plants and, consequently, the perpetuation of the species.
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The fruits have three parts, they are: the epicarp, the mesocarp and the endocarp. Together they form the pericarp.
It is the external part of the fruit, what we call peel, it can be of the most varied textures.
Middle part, generally well developed, fleshy and sweet. Most of the time this is the edible part.
It is the innermost part, which protects the seed. It can be very thin or it can be so rigid that it forms the structure we call a lump.
Angiosperms – Types of fruits – Structure
Classification of fruits
Fruits can be classified in several ways:
Regarding the composition:
- Simple : carpels joined together since the beginning of development, most of the fruits we know are simple, such as: lemon, pear, papaya, guava, etc.
- Compounds or aggregates: carpels are separated from the flower, they develop separately but at the same time, it is the case of strawberries, where they are joined by the peduncle (the fleshy red part we eat).
- Multiple : originated by ovaries of several flowers, that is, fruits from an inflorescence.
As for the type:
Dry : the pericarp appears dry at maturity.
- Dehiscent : fruits that open after maturity, thus releasing the seeds. They can be of several types: follicle (chichá), vegetable (beans), silica (ipe) and capsule (poppy).
- Indeiscent : fruits that do not open even after maturity. They can also be of various types: achene (sunflower), samara (araribá), capillary (dandelion), karyopsis (corn), nuts (nutmeg) and schizocarp (castor).
Fleshy : succulent pericarp throughout development.
- Berry : fruits with succulent mesocarp and endocarp, with one or many seeds. Eg avocado, orange.
- Drupa : fruits with hardened endocarp forming a lump. Eg: peach, plum.
- Pomos : fleshy part is not derived from the ovary, but from an accessory structure. Eg: apple.
Although the fruit is the development of the ovary after fertilization, there are some exceptions where the ovary can develop even without fertilization.
This type of fruit is called parthenocarpic and has no seeds. The most classic example of parthenocarpic fruit is the banana.
Curiosity – Fruit or fruit?
Biologically speaking, the correct name is fruit .
The word fruit is popularly associated with fruit because of its sweetness, but for botany it is not correct.