Types of fruits

Fruits have a huge impact on the way people view plants. They represent a very important percentage of the vegetable products that we consume and, in fact, for this reason, new varieties and hybrids of the most popular species for human consumption continue to be sought every day.

However, do you really know what fruits are and how they are classified or how many classifications of these are there really? If you want to learn more about the types of fruits and their characteristics , keep reading this article.

What are the fruits and how are they formed

If we speak in botanical terms, the fruit is the organ that is formed from the flower, either complete or from some of its parts, and that is responsible for protecting the seed or seeds while they mature.

¿ How the fruit is formed ? Usually the fruit is formed when the ovum is fertilized . From there the ovary hardens and the fruit begins to form. The walls of the ovary give rise to the pericarp , which in turn is formed by the outermost of the parts of the fruit, which is the epicarp, the middle layer, which is the mesocarp, and the endocarp, which is the inner layer that protects the seed.

There are several ways to classify the fruits according to the criterion that we take as a reference, as we will see in the following sections.

Classification of fruits according to the type of pericarp

In this classification we will look at the characteristics of the pericarp of the fruit. There are two main groups: nuts and fleshy fruits.

  • Nuts are those whose pericarp is thin, since it contains few or no reserve substances at all. They have a water content below 50%. As food, they are very rich in fiber and minerals, in addition to offering a high energy value.
  • The fleshy fruits , on the other hand, do contain a large amount of reserve substances, which are sometimes used to attract animals to consume them in order to help the propagation of the seeds when they are expelled after passing through the digestive tract. They have a water content above 50%.
  • We can also find oleaginous fruits , which are those with a high fat content, such as olives and sunflower seeds.

Types of fruits according to the amount of seeds they contain

This classification is very simple and only looks at whether the fruit contains a single seed or whether it contains several seeds.

  • Monosperm fruit : each fruit of this plant or tree only contains one seed. An example of this type of fruit is the avocado.
  • Polysperm fruit: the fruits of this plant or tree have several seeds inside. An example of this type of fruit is the mandarin.

Classification of the fruits according to whether or not they expel the seeds

Dehiscent fruits are those that are capable of opening spontaneously to release their seeds. Thus, this classification divides the fruits into dehiscent and indehiscent . In turn, there are many types of dehiscent fruits , among which we can differentiate the following:

  • Simple sutural: the fruit is opened by its carpelar suture.
  • Double sutural: it opens longitudinally through both the carpellar suture and the middle vein of the carpel, as occurs with many legumes.
  • Septicide: when the carpelar walls that give rise to the septa separate.
  • Loculicidal: when the opening occurs along the middle nerve of the carpels.
  • Septifrage: here the opening occurs in the septa, in planes parallel to the axis of the fruit.
  • Placenticidal: the fruit opens from the middle part of the placentas, along.
  • Placentríphaga: two parallel cracks or fissures are created in the fruit, near the placentas.
  • Poricide: these are those fruits in which holes are created through which the seeds escape.
  • Transversal: there is a transverse opening to the wall of the fruit.
  • Dental: some apical portions of the carpels separate, forming teeth.

Types of fruits according to the parts of the flower that form it

We find in this type of classification simple and complex fruits:

  • Simple fruits: which are those that develop from a single pistil in the flower, regardless of whether it has one or more carpels. As an example we can mention oranges and grapes.
  • Complex fruits: which are those in whose formation process not only the ovary intervenes, but also other parts of the flower. Pomegranates and children are examples of complex fruits.

Classification of fruits by the number of carpels from which they come

In this classification system, we will look at whether the fruit comes from a single carpel, in which case it is a monocarpic fruit , or if it comes from several carpels, being a polycarpic fruit . In turn, polycarpic fruits can be apocarpic or syncarpic depending on whether the carpels that gave rise to them were free or welded and, finally, syncarpic fruits can be open or closed depending on whether or not they have internal partitions.

As a final detail, it should be noted that all these classification systems are independent and not exclusive, that is, a fruit can be described with several of them at the same time. 

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