Fruits & Seeds

What are fruits?

A collection of healthy fruits

Fruits are uniquely an angiosperm feature (see Flowering Plants) allowing part of the pollinated flower to ripen and become the fruit. Some are fleshy with parts we like to eat, some are dry, some are heavy and are designed to be dispersed by falling and rolling away from the mother plant, some have wings or fluffy tails to enable them to be caught by the wind in order to be dispersed.

Fruits are mainly divided into two large categories: dry fruits and fleshy fruits.

Dry fruits are generally grey, brown, or another dull color, with a very thin and dry ovary wall, so that the food is largely confined to the seeds. These may be further subdivided based on the number of seeds and whether the fruit remains closed at maturity ( indehiscent ) or opens naturally ( dehiscent ).

Fleshy fruits are usually juicy and brightly colored, contrasting with their background to make them more noticeable to animals, who are responsible for their dispersal. All fleshy fruits are indehiscent and considerable fleshy tissue is developed as the ovary changes into the fruit.

What are seeds?

Open pollinated seeds

Seeds are usually surrounded by a tough shell called the testa, that is derived from one or more integuments. It contains an endosperm, a nourishing tissue.

Seeds are dispersed either by self-dispersal, called autochory, or by allochory which means that external factors are involved. Allochor modes of dispersal are dispersal by wind (anemochorys), water (hydrochory) or by animals (zoochory).