Fruit

In botany, a fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which these plants disseminate seeds. Many of them that bear edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food.[1] Fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings. The section of a fungus that produces spores is also called a fruiting body.[2] In common language usage, "fruit" normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, and bananas.[3] On the other hand, the botanical sense of "fruit" includes many structures that are not commonly called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels, wheat grains, and tomatoes.[4] In the flowering plants, an ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower or gynoecium. Specifically, it is the part of the pistil which holds the ovule(s) and is located above or below or at the point of connection with the base of the petals and sepals. The pistil may be made up of one carpel or of several fused carpels, and therefore the ovary can contain part of one carpel or parts of several fused carpels. In this picture of a zucchini the petal

and sepals are above the ovary and such a flower is said to have an inferior ovary; also referred to as epigynous. Above the ovary is the style and the stigma, which is where the pollen lands and germinates to grow down through the style to the ovary, and, for each individual pollen grain, to grow into one individual ovule. Some wind pollinated flowers have much reduced and modified ovaries. In the culinary sense of these words, a fruit is usually any sweet-tasting plant product, especially those associated with seeds; a vegetable is any savoury or less sweet plant product; and a nut is any hard, oily, and shelled plant product.[5] These culinary vegetables that are botanically fruit include cucurbits (e.g., squash, pumpkin, and cucumber), tomatoes, peas, beans, corn, eggplant, and sweet pepper. In addition, some spices, such as allspice and chilies, are fruits, botanically speaking.[6] In contrast, rhubarb is often referred to as a fruit, because it is used to make sweet desserts such as pies, though only the petiole of the rhubarb plant is edible.[7] Edible gymnosperm seeds are often given fruit names, e.g., pine nuts, ginkgo nuts. Botanically, a cereal grain, such as corn, wheat or rice, is also a kind of fruit, termed a caryopsis. However, the fruit wall is very thin, and is fused to the seed coat, so almost all of the edible grain is actually a seed.[8] Many common terms for seeds and fruit do not correspond to the botanical classifications. In botany, seeds are ripened ovules; fruits are the ripened ovaries or carpels that contain the seeds and a nut is a type of fruit and not a seed.[6]