Classification of Fruits

·         Fruits that are formed without including the accessory structures are called true fruits e.g. tomatoes while those including accessory structures are false fruits e.g. pears.

·         Fruits may be classified based on the number of ovaries, number of flowers and other structures forming the fruit, into;

§  Simple fruits

§  Fruits formed from one ovary in one flower

§  Aggregate fruits

§  Fruits formed from more than one ovary of one flower

§  Multiple fruits

§  Fruits formed from an inflorescence and include accessory structures

·         After maturity, fruits are also classified into fleshy/Succulent or dry fruits

§  Fleshy/Succulent fruits may be soft or hard

§  Simple succulent fruits

·         Have soft and fleshy epicarp and formed from single ovary

·         They include;

o   Berries

§  Have soft epicarp and fleshy mesocarp and endocarp

o   Hesperidiums

§  Berries with a thicker skin containing oils

o   Pepos

§  Berries with a comparatively thick exocarp or rind

o   Drupes/stones

§  Have edible exocarp and fleshy mesocarp and inedible, hard stone-like endocarp

o   Pome

§  A fleshy fruit with mature ovary and accessory structures e.g. petals, sepals and receptacle

o   Polydrupes

§  Are soft aggregate fruits (fusion of several drupes) e.g. strawberries, blackberries etc.

§  Dry fruits may be dehiscent or indehiscent depending on whether they split open to release the seeds or not. They include;

§  Simple dry indehiscent fruits

·         Samara

o   A winged fruit

·         Achene

o   A hard dry fruit with one seed which almost feels the pericarp but attached loosely

·         Nuts

o   Simple dry fruit similar to achenes, but formed from two or three carpels. Pericarp is relatively hard and heavy

·         Caryopsis

o   It is a simple, dry fruit in which the testa and pericarp are fused

§  Simple dry dehiscent fruits

·         Legumes

o   Are dry fruits which split along both dorsal and ventral sutures to release their seeds e.g. Cassia angustifolia 

·         Follicles

o   Dry fruits which splits along inner suture only e.g. strophanthus

·         Capsules

o   Dry fruits formed from two or more carpels

§  Valvate Capsule –the tip split open

§  Porose capsule –form pores to release seeds

§  Loculicidal capsules –splits along locules

§  Circumscissile capsules –split through the centre of the fruit

§  Septicidal capsule –split along the septa

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