Key to Common Fruit Types


Fruit fleshy:  go to 2.
1b. Fruit dry at maturity:  go to 6.
2a. Fruit simple that is derived from a flower with a single ovary:  go to 3.
2b. Fruit derived from a single flower with many ovaries. – Aggregate Fruit (raspberry, magnolia).  Note: If not all of the ovaries are pollinated and fertilized, the fur it will be misshapen. aggregate 
2c. Fruit develops form multiple separate flowers in an inflorescence, the fruits coalesce together to form a single “fruit” at maturity.  â€“ Multiple Fruit (mulberry, pineapple, beet seed) multiple
3a. Fruit with a single seed enclosed in a hard pit.  The exocarp (outer layer) becomes the thin skin; the mesocarp (middle layer) becomes thick and fleshy; and the endocarp (inner layer) becomes a hard stony pit.  – Drupe (peaches, olives, cherries, plums)   drupe 
3b. Fruit with more than one seed, the seed not enclosed in a hard pit:  go to 4.
4a. Fruit develops from the ovary only. Pulpy fruit from one or more carpels that develops few to many seeds, inner and outer walls fleshy.  â€“  Berry (tomatoes, eggplant, blueberries, and grapes) berry 
4a-1. Berries with a leather rind containing oils, enclosing a pulpy juice sack (carpels).  â€“Hesperidium (citrus: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) hesperidium 
4b. Fruits develop from the ovary plus other flower parts (accessory fruits):  go to 5.
5a. Simple fruits with relative hard rind at maturity, fleshy-watery interior with many seeds.  – Pepos (cucumbers, melons, and squash) pepo 
5b. Simple fruit with several carpels and papery inner wall (endocarp) and fleshy outer wall.  – Pomes (apple, pear, quince)  pome
6a. Fruit not splitting at maturity:  go to 7.
6b. Fruit splitting open at maturity:  go to 10.
7a. One-seed achene fruit (elm, ash) or two-seed fruit (maple) with a wing-like structure formed from the ovary wall.–Samaras  samara
7b. Fruit without wings:  go to 8.
8a. One-seeded fruit with hard stony shell (pericarp) surrounding the seed. – Nut (oak, filbert, walnut) nut 
8b. Fruit without hard shell:  go to 9.

Simple, one-seeded fruit with a thin seed coat (pericarp) surrounding and adhering tightly to the true seed.  – Caryopsis(corn, rice, wheat, and barley)

9b. Simple, one-seeded, thin-wall fruit with seed loosely attached to ovary wall.  – Achenes (sunflower) achene 
10a. Fruit from two or more carpels, each with many seeds, splitting along or between carpel lines or forming a cap that comes off or a row of pores near the top. – Capsule (iris, poppy, jimson weed) capsule 
10b. Fruit splitting lengthwise along the edge:  go to 11.
11a. Fruits from two carpels with a central partition to which the seeds are attached.  Splits to expose seeds along central membrane. – Silique or Silicle(mustards) silicle 
11b. Fruits not leaving a central partition:  go to 12
12a. Fruit from a single carpel that splits along one suture only. –Follicles (Delphinium) follicle 
12b. Fruit from a single carpel usually splits along two sutures.  Found in members of the Fabaceae (pea) family.  – Legumes Pod (peas, beans) legume 
12c. Fruit formed from two or more carpels that split at maturity to yield one-seeded halves.  – Schizocarp (carrots, dill, parsley, hollyhock) schizocarp 


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