Creative Applications for Learning Environments Lab

Apples Electronic Field Trip to an Orchard

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What's a fruit?

When we think of fruit we usually think of

Mixture3.jpg (10114 bytes) But, this is a fruit Maplesed.jpg (7712 bytes) And this is a fruit BEYEDPEAS.jpg (5059 bytes) And this is a fruit

It's all fruit!

So what is the definition of a fruit?

A fruit is a mature ovary from a plant. It can be a fertilized ovary

Apples.jpg (7240 bytes) or it can be an unfertilized ovary Banannas.jpg (12959 bytes).

Most fruit comes from a fertilized ovary so the fruit contains seeds and is capable of reproducing the plant.
Mixfru6.jpg (19440 bytes)

Some fruit does not come from a fertilized ovary. The process of a fruit developing without fertilization is called parthenocarpy. Parthenocarpic fruits do not have any seeds. So any seedless fruit, like banana, seedless grapes, seedless watermelons, and seedless oranges, are parthenocarpic, or from unfertilized ovaries!
Mixfru7.jpg (19722 bytes)

But peas, cucumbers, and squash are vegetables, not fruit!

It's confusing! We call many foods we eat vegetables, but they're actually fruit. Remember the definition of a fruit...a mature ovary from a plant. So, anytime you eat something from a plant that contains seeds, you're eating a mature ovary and that's a fruit!