Navigation Menu+

Identify Common Fruits

Key to Common Fruit Types

1. Fruit developed from two or more separate flowers, or derived from an entire inflorescence
     2. Fruit consists mostly of receptacle tissue, with tiny, ripened ovaries borne along the inner wall of the hollow receptacle……….. Syconium (Fig)
     2. Fruit consists mostly of tightly clustered ripened ovaries……….. Multiple (Pineapple, Mulberry)
1. Fruit developed from a single flower
     3. Fruit developed from two or more separate ovaries
          4. Ovaries develop into fleshy drupelets on a non-fleshy receptacle……….. Aggregate (Brambles)
          4. Ovaries develop into achenes on a fleshy receptacle……….. Accessory (Strawberry)
     3. Fruit developed from one ovary
          5. Fruit (mostly) fleshy at maturity
                6. Fruit with a thin skin, homogenous texture throughout (except seeds)……….. Berry (Grape)
                6. Fruit with heterogenous texture
                       7. Outer part of fruit tough and hard, or leathery
                              8. Septa (partitions) present, several to many, outer rind leathery……….. Hesperidium (Citrus)
                              8. No septa, outer rind tough, thick……….. Pepo (Watermelon)
                       7. Outer part of fruit soft; thin-skinned
                              9. Fruit one-seeded with hard, bony endocarp surrounding the seed……….. Drupe (Peach, Plum)
                              9. Fruit with two or more seeds, center with papery or cartilaginous structure surrounding seeds……….. Pome (Apple, Pear)
        5. Fruit dry at maturity
               10. Fruit indehiscent (not splitting open) at maturity
                          11. Fruit winged……….. Samara (Maple, Ash)
                          11. Fruit not winged
                                  12. Seed fused to fruit wall……….. Caryopsis, Grain (Corn, Wheat)
                                  12. Seed not fused to fruit wall
                                           13. Fruit wall bladder-like, loose and free from seed……….. Utricle (Spinach)
                                           13. Fruit wall not bladder-like, close-fitting to seed
                                                    14. Fruit large, with hard, bony wall……….. Nut (Pecan, Walnut)
                                                    14. Fruit small, wall thin……….. Achene (Sunflower)
               10. Fruit dehiscent (splitting open) at maturity
                          15. Ovary compound; fruit developed from more than one carpel
                                  16. Fruit splitting into one-seeded segments at maturity, but carpels not
                                                                                                 dehiscing to release seeds……….. Schizocarp (Carrot)
                                  16. Fruit splitting open to release seeds at maturity
                                           17. Two carpels separated by a thin, translucent septum
                                                      18. Fruit less than twice as long as it is wide……….. Silicle (Shepard’s purse)
                                                      18. Fruit more than twice as long as it is wide……….. Silique (Mustard)
                                           17. More than two carpels, not separated by a thin, translucent septum [ = Capsule]
                                                      19. Capsule opening along a transverse circular line; top separating like a lid……….. Circumscissile capsule or Pyxis (Brazil nut)
                                                      19. Capsule opening lengthwise or by pores, top not separating like a lid
                                                              20. Capsule opening by pores or flaps……….. Poricidal capsule (Poppy)
                                                              20. Capsule opening longitudinally, often lengthwise
                                                                       21. Capsule dehiscing through locules……….. Loculicidal capsule (Iris)
                                                                       21. Capsule dehiscing through septa……….. Septicidal capsule (Yucca)
                          15. Ovary simple; fruit developed from one carpel
                                  22. Fruit opening along a single suture……….. Follicle (Milkweed)
                                  22. Fruit opening along two sutures
                                   23. Fruit not constricted between seeds……….. Legume (Pea, Bean)
                                   23. Fruit constricted between seeds, breaking into one-seed segments at maturity……….. Loment (Desmodium)