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(1) Fruit [ Botany ]
Synonym: Seed pod, Seed case

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  A fruit is the ripened  ovary or ovaries of a flowering plant, together with accessory parts consolidated with it, containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms and to some extent assists in the dissemination of the seeds.  
Typically a fruit start to develop after that an ovule is fertilized as a result of the process of pollination, the ovary begins to enlarge. The petals of the flower drop and the ovule develops into a seed.

The ovary, together with accessory parts of the flower or other organs ( e.g. scales, bracts, modified branches, perianth, or inflorescence parts.) comes to form a structure surrounding the seed or seeds that is the fruit. Fruit development continues until the seeds have matured.
Fruits may be pulpy or dry and are classified in three basic types:

1. Simple fruit Derived from the ripening of a simple or compound ovary with but one pistil.
2. Aggregate fruit Derived from a flower with numerous simple pistils.
3. Multiple fruit Derived from a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence).

Dry fruits can also be divided in:

1.  Dehiscent Opening to discharge seeds.
2.  Indehiscent Not opening to discharge seeds.

The fruit is a complex structure composed of many different parts. Some of the more common terms used for describing a fruit are:

Fruit and Seed dispersal:
Dispersal is the natural process of dispersing of plant fruit and seeds over a wide area.  There are six common means of dispersal:

  • Anemochory: Dispersal by wind.
  • Autochory: Dispersal by physical expulsion, often explosively.
  • Endozoochory: Dispersal through animal ingestion and excretion. 
  • Epizoochory: Dispersal by attachment to fur or feathers.
  • Hydrochory: Dispersal by water.
  • Myrmecochory: Dispersal by ants.

Other term relating to fruit:


(2) Fruit
  The spore-bearing structure or conceptacles of a plant that does not bear seeds, as of ferns, mosses, algae, etc.  


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