Classification of Fruits

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·         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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