Fruit and its type

  • Fertilized ovary is called fruit.
  • It has two parts i.e. fruit wall or pericarp and seeds.
  • Pericarp is made up of three layers epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp.
  • Fruits might be true fruits and false fruits.
  • True fruit develops from ovary and false fruit develop from any part other than ovary.

Types of fruits:

  • Fruits are of three types.
  • They are simple, aggregate and multiple or composite

1)Simple fruit:

  • Develops from syncarpous ovary or monocarpellary ovary.
  • It is divided into two types.
  • They are dry fruits and fleshy fruits.

A)Dry fruits

  • Pericarp is not differentiated into three regions.
  • It is again divided into three types.

i)Dehiscent or capsular fruits.

It is of following types. They are:

a)legume or pod

  • Develops from monocarpellary gynoecium.
  • Dehiscence occurs by both the halves by means of suture.
  • e.g., pea, gram, bean.


  • Develops from bicarpellary gynoecium.
  • Unilocular ovary dehiscence occurs by only one halves.
  • e.g., Calotropis.


  • It is elongated, linear, many seeded.
  • Develops from bicarpellary.
  • Dehiscence occurs by both the halves from base to the apex.
  • e.g., Cruciferae.
  • Siliqula is a flat siliqua e.g., Iberis, Capsella.


  • Develops from multicarpellary syncarpous ovary.
  • Dehiscence occurs by pore (poricidal) e.g., Opium and Argemone, locule (loculicidal) e.g., cotton, ladyfinger, septa (septicidal) e.g., Linum.
  • Septa breaks down into segments (septifragal) e.g., Datura.

ii)Indehiscent or achenial fruits

  • These are single seeded, indehiscent dry and simple fruits.


  • Formed from monocarpellary pistil having superior and unilocular ovary.
  • The pericarp is membranous or leathery.
  • Pericarp is free from seed coat except one point.
  • e.g., Mirabilis, Boerhaavia, Fagopyrum, etc.


  • Pericarp and testa are completely fused.
  • e.g., maize, rice, wheat, etc.


  • Developed from an inferior bicarpellary ovary.
  • e.g., compositae.


  • One or twoseeded, winged fruits developing from bi or tricarpellary ovary.
  • In samara, wings develop from pericarp e.g., Hiptage, Fraxinus, Dioscorea.
  • While in case of Shorea (sal) and Dipterocarpus, wings are formed by persistent sepals.


  • One seeded fruits developed from superior, syncarpous pistil with pericarp hard and woody or leathery.
  • e.g., Anacardium (cashew nut), Quercus (oak), Litchi.

iii)Splitting or schizocarpic fruits.

  • Many seeded, dry and simple fruits which break up into one seeded parts at maturity.
  • Indehiscent single seeded compartment is called mericarp while the dehiscent parts are called cocci.
  • These are of following types:


  • It is constricted pod
  • e.g., Acacia, Mimosa, Cassia, etc.


  • Two seeded fruit, at maturity splits into two mericarp.
  • e.g., Coriander, carrot, etc.


  • Fruits are broken into indehiscent and single seeded mericarp.
  • e.g., Malva, Althaea, Abutilon, etc.

d)Double samara

  • Fruit develop from superior bicarpellary ovary.
  • When mature it splits into two samaras (mericarp).
  • e.g., Acer.


  • Dry, three to many chambered fruit developing from a syncarpous pistil.
  • It splits up at maturity into cocci or dehiscent single seeded parts.
  • e.g., Ricinus, Euphorbia, etc.

B)Fleshy fruits

  • Pericarp is divided into three distinct regions.
  • Pericarp or its associate parts become fleshy.
  • These are o various types. They are:


  • Fleshy one or more seeded fruit with the pericarp differentiated into outer skin or epicarp, often fleshy or fibrous mesocarp and hard or stony endocarp.
  • Fruit is also called as stone fruit.
  • e.g., mango, coconut, plum, almond, etc.

ii)Bacca or berry

  • Fleshy superior, usually many seeded fruit developing commonly from syncarpous pistil (rarely from single carpel) with axile placentation.
  • e.g., tomato, grapes, banana, guava, etc.


  • Fleshy many seeded fruit like but it develops from inferior one celled or three celled syncarpous pistil with parietal placentation.
  • e.g., cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon.


  • This is an inferior, two or more celled, fleshy, syncarpous fruit surrounded by the thalamus (fleshy edible part is thalamus) while the actual fruit lies within. e.g., apple, pear.


  • Superior, many celled fleshy fruit with axile placentation.
  • Endocarp projects inwards forming distinct chamber.
  • Epicarp and mesocarp fuse together and form a separable skin.
  • Edible part is juicy placental hairs.
  • e.g., Citrus spp. (orange, lemon).


  • It is special type of false berry.
  • Epicarp and thalamus fused to form leathery structure called rind, mesocarp is plate like infoldings in the fruit and endocarp is the membrane surrounding the juicy seeds.
  • Edible part is juicy testa of seeds.

2)Aggregate fruits

  • Collection of simple fruits developing from apocarpous pistil.
  • Aggregate of simple fruits borne by single flower is known as etaerio.
  • Etaerio of follicles: Michelia, Calotropis, Vinca.
  • Etaerio of achenes: rose, lotus, strawberry.
  • Etaerio of drupes: raspberry.
  • Etaerio of berries: custard apple.

3)Multiple or composite fruits

  • Fruits develop from the inflorescence.
  • They are of following types. They are:


  • Develops from spike, catkin or spadix inflorescence.
  • e.g., pineapple, mulberry, jackfruit.

ii)Syconous or syconium

  • Develops from hypanthodium inflorescence.
  • e.g., Ficus spp (banyan, peepal, fig).

Fruit and its type

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