Chapter: Introduction to Botany: The Origin of Flowering

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Fruit

A fruit is defined as ripened ovary, flower, or whole inflorescence.

The Fruit

 

A fruit is defined as ripened ovary, flower, or whole inflorescence. The origins of the fruit coat and the pericarp (Fig. 8.18) which is comprised of the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp, are mostly from the wall of the pistil. 


 

Fruits can be simple, multiple, or compound. Simple fruits come from a single pistil (like cherry, Prunus). Multiple fruits are formed from many pistils of the same flower (strawberry, Fragaria). A compound fruit (infructescense) would be a pineapple (Ananas) or fig (Ficus) which comes from multiple flowers (inflo-rescence).

 

Fruits can be dry or fleshy. An example of dry fruit is a nut like peanut (Arachis) or walnut (Juglans). Examples of fleshy fruits include apples (Malus) or oranges (Citrus).

 

Fruits also delegate dispersal function to their different parts. Dehiscent fruits (like canola, Brassica) open and delegate dispersal to individual seeds, inde-hiscent fruits (like papaya,Carica) will not open and will be dispersal units(diaspores) themselves. Schizocarp fruits (like in spurge, Euphorbia or maple, Acer) are in between: they do not open but break into several parts, and each ofthem contains seed inside. In addition, simple fruits could be monomerous (1-seeded) like nut or achene (sunflower, Helianthus), or bear multiple seeds (like follicle in tulip, Tulipa). All these different variants have their own names partly described in the table below:

 


 


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