The following points highlight the three main types of fruits. The types are: 1. Simple Fruits 2. Aggregate Fruits 3. Multiple Fruits.
Fruit of a Plant: Type # 1. Simple Fruits:
These may be dry, which may again be indehiscent, dehiscent or schizocarpic; or fleshy which are generally indehiscent.
(A) Dry Simple Fruits:
(a) Dry and Indehiscent Simple Fruits (Fig. 89):
It develops from monocarpellary, superior ovary. Wall of the single seed is free from the hard pericarp or wall of the fruit, e.g., Boerhaavia, Mirabilis.
It is an achene with thin, loose, bladder like pericarp, e.g., Chenopodium album.
It develops from monocarpellary ovary in which the pericarp is inseparably fused with testa, e.g., Triticum, Zea, etc.
Dry, one – chambered, one-seeded fruit derived from bicarpellary or polycarpellary, syncarpous, inferior ovary having basal placentation. Testa and pericarp are free in cypsella, e.g., Launea, Helianthus, etc.
5. Simple Samara:
When fruit wall of the bicarpellary syncarpous ovary is winged e.g., Elm.
When fruit wall is hard and bony of one – chambered, one – seeded fruit developing from bicarpellary to polycarpellary, superior ovary, e.g., Trapa, Anacardium, etc.
(b) Dry and Dehiscent Simple Fruits (Fig. 90):
It is derived from a monocarpellary, superior ovary and dehisces only along one suture, e.g., Delphinium.
It develops from monocarpellary, superior ovary with marginal placentation. It dehisces along both the dorsal and ventral sutures, e.g., Pisum, Lathyrus, etc.
It develops from bicarpellary, syncarpous gynoecium with parietal placentation and a false septum. It is long, narrow, multiseeded fruit which dehisces from below upward by both the sutures, e.g., members of Cruciferae like Brassica.
It is a broad, flat and shortened form of siliqua, e.g., Iberis, Alyssum, etc.
It develops from bi-, tri- or multicarpellary superior or inferior ovary. It may dehisce either longitudinally, transversely or by the formation of pores, e.g., Hibiscus, Gossypium, Amaranthus, etc.
(c) Dry and Schizocarpic Simple Fruits (Fig. 91):
It develops from bicarpellary, syncarpous bilocular, inferior ovary with one ovule in each locule. The fruit dehisces from two indehiscent, single-seeded mericarps which remain attached with carpophore, e.g., Apiaceae.
It develops from bi- to multicarpellay syncarpous, superior ovary with many locules, each having one or more ovules on axile placentation. It is characteristic of Labiatae.
It develops from tricarpellary, syncarpous, superior, trilocular ovary, and bears many spinous tubercles. It splits into many parts called cocci, i.e., Ricinus.
It develops from monocarpellary, superior ovary with marginal placentation, like legume, but dehiscing sutures are transverse. At maturity the fruit is broken up into many one- seeded segments, e.g., Acacia, A rachis hypogaea, etc.
It develops from bi- to tricarpellary, syncarpous, superior ovary having single ovule in each locule. Fruit bears wings and breaks up into two or three one – seeded mericarps, e.g., Dodonaea, Acer etc.
(B) Simple Fleshy Fruits:
It is indehiscent, many-seeded fruit with fleshy and edible endocarp, e.g., tomato, watermelon, banana, etc.
It is a berry with hard and leathery pericarp. It develops from polycarpellary, multilocular, superior ovary, e.g., oranges, lemon etc.
It is similar to berry in being fleshy and multiseeded but it develops from a tricarpellary, syncarpous, inferior ovary with parietal placentation, e.g., Cucurbitaceae.
Fruit with thin inedible epicarp, fleshy edible mesocarp and stony endocarp, e.g., mango. Sometimes the mesocarp is fibrous as in coconut or dry as in almond.
This is a pseudocarp or false fruit which has developed from the receptacle and not from the ovary, e.g., apple.
Fruit of a Plant: Type # 2. Aggregate Fruits:
1. Etaerio of Achenes:
It is an aggregation of simple fruitlets of achenes, e.g., Ranunculus, Clematis.
2. Etaerio of Follicles:
It is an aggregation of simple fruitlets of follicles, e.g., Delphinium.
3. Etaerio of Drupes:
It is an aggregation of simple fruitlets of drupes, e.g., Rubus.
4. Etaerio of Berries:
It is an aggregation of simple fruitlets of berries, e.g., Artabotrys.
Fruit of a Plant: Type # 3. Multiple Fruits:
A multiple fruit developing from spike, spadix or catkin. Perianth of flowers become fleshy. Sometimes peduncle becomes edible and fleshy, e.g., Pineapple.
It develops from hypanthodium inflorescence. In this case the peduncle is edible, fleshy and becomes hollow, e.g., fig, banyan, peepal, etc.