Eye On Life Magazine

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Inquisitive Gardener Answer - Do You Know Your Berries?

Although his wife might want to divorce him, a botanist could, if he wished, accurately refer to squeezing the breakfast berries, or the baby’s jamming its thumb in the drupe-cracker. For an orange is a berry, and a walnut is a drupe. Botanically, a berry is defined as a pulpy fruit which developed from a single pistil, with few or many seeds, and which is indehiscent (does not split open).

Of the fruits listed on Inquisitive Gardener Question - Do You Know Your Berries? — those having this characteristic are:


Banana
Blueberry
Cranberry
Currant
Date
Gooseberry
Grape
Guava
Orange
Tomato

Give yourself ten points for each one you knew.

As for the others:

Avocado, Cherry, and Coconut technically are drupes (that is, fleshy, one-seeded fruits with the seed enclosed in a hard or stony shell. Walnuts and Hickories also are drupes.


Blackberry, Raspberry, and Loganberry fruits consist of an aggregation of drupelets, originating from a single flower. Mulberry is a multiple fruit in which the sepals of individual flowers of the female spike become fleshy and cover the real fruits — which we call “seeds.”

Strawberry also is an aggregate fruit in which the real fruits (achenes) are imbedded in a pulpy receptacle — the part we think of as the fruit.

The Fig is a composite fruit. The flowers, and subsequently the fruits (seeds to you and me), are borne on the interior of a pear-shaped hollow.

The Chokeberry is one of the pome fruits similar in structure to Apple and Pear, the best known fruits of this nature.