What is Fruit?

The fruit is a characteristic feature of the flowering plants. It is a mature or ripened ovary, developed after fertilization. If a fruit is formed without fertilization of the ovary, it is called a parthenocarpic fruit. Generally, the fruit consists of a wall or pericarp and seeds. The pericarp may be dry or fleshy. When pericarp is thick and fleshy, it is differentiated into the outer epicarp, the middle mesocarp and the inner endocarp.


Figure: Parts of a fruit: (a) Mango (b) Coconut

In mango and coconut, the fruit is known as a drupe (Figure). They develop from monocarpellary superior ovaries and are one seeded. In mango the pericarp is well differentiated into an outer thin epicarp, a middle fleshy edible mesocarp and an inner stony hard endocarp. In coconut which is also a drupe, the mesocarp is fibrous.