BACKYARD NATURE HOME | PLANTS | ANIMALS | FUNGI | ECOLOGY | GEOLOGY | GARDENING | TOOLS

SIMPLE FLESHY FRUITS

These are fruits in which all or part of the fruit wall is fleshy at maturity. Among the most important simple fleshy fruits are the following:

  • cross section of yellow tomato Berries are fruits in which the ovary wall has ripened into a fleshy, often juicy and edible zone surrounding the seeds, as is clearly the case with the luscious yellow tomato I just picked from my garden and shown at the right. Berries only develop from flowers with superior ovaries. As was the case with the term "fruit," the botanical definition of "berry" is very different from the general public's. For, according to the technical definition, the following simple fleshy fruits are berries: tomatoes, grapes, avocados, eggplants, persimmons , and red peppers! Notice that blackberries and strawberries aren't even mentioned! Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are modified berries.

  • cherry, with a big "pit"/ Prunus serotinaDrupes are simple fruits containing hard, single seeds known as "stones" or "pits," which are surrounded by a fleshy pulp; usually drupes have thin skins. Examples of backyard drupes include cherries, peaches, plums, and, if you live along a tropical or semitropical beach, coconuts. The picture at the right shows the fruit of a Black Cherry tree, a wild tree in eastern North America. Notice that this small fruit (0.3 inch or 8 mm wide) has little flesh but a lot of "pit." That's typical of wild plants. The tree has evolved so that it provides just enough flesh to interest a bird in eating it, and dispersing its seed, but not a bit more. When humans developed horticultural varieties from such wild stock, of course they chose strains with more flesh and less pit, just the opposite of Mother Nature.