Fleshy Fruit Types

Fleshy fruits are reproductive bodies from plants that contain edible flesh and seeds used for reproduction. Different fleshy fruit types stem from different parts of the plant system, causing their flesh, skin and seeds to appear in different formations.

Fleshy fruits are fruits that have a flesh area between the seeds and the skin. When you eat a fleshy fruit, you consume the flesh rather than the seeds, though some types of fleshy fruits also have an edible skin. Apples, avocados, pears or watermelons are all examples of fleshy fruits. Botanists define any plant with ripened ovaries hanging from the plant a fruit, which means some items like avocados or tomatoes which are commonly referred to as vegetables are actually fruits. According to botanists, fleshy fruits are those that derive from a single ovary from the flowering area of the plant.

Fleshy Fruit Types

Name

Definition

Examples

Fleshy Simple Fruits

Berries

The entire fruit is fleshy except for a thin skin and the seeds contained inside.

Note: A strawberry is not actually a berry because its seeds are housed on the outside. Berries develop from citrus flowers.

Grapes, blueberries, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, eggplant, currant, persimmons, raspberries

Hesperidiums

These are modified berries that have a leathery skin. In some cases, portions of the skin are edible, but it may not taste good.

Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, citron, mandarin, clementine, ugli fruit

Pepo

Pepos are another type of modified berries which contain flesh within a hard skin that is typically inedible.

Watermelons, pumpkins, cucumber, squash, honeydew melon, sunberry

Drupe

Drupes are fleshy fruits that surround a hard stone or "pit." These are often referred to as stone fruits.

Peaches, nectarines, plums, olives, coconuts, cherries, apricot, lychee, pin cherry almonds (in this case, we eat the stone, not the fruit)

Pome

This is a fruit with an inedible core surrounded by edible flesh. Technically, you consume the flesh but leave the fruit when eating pomes, because the container holding the seeds is disposed of.

Apples, pears, quince, chokeberry, juneberry, haw, medlar, rowan, sorb apple

Fleshy Aggregate Fruits

Fleshy aggregate fruits do not come from flowers, but from several ovaries or carpals. Unlike other fruits that  contain their seeds, these fruits have seeds throughout, allowing for easier distribution

Polydrupes

These develop from simple carpels in a single flower. The dry fruits then attach to a fleshy receptacle, or aggregate form a simple, fleshy fruit.

Strawberries, blackberries, boysenberry, cloudberry, wineberry, loganberry, raspberries (these are technically berries and aggregates)

Fleshy Multiple Fruits

Multiple fruits are compounds of several independent flowers. The physical nature of these fruits will vary.

Pineapple, figs, mulberries, pomegranate, dates, goumi, cornelian cherry, jujube, kiwi fruit, jackfruit, kumquat,  loquat, persimmon, longan, guava, passion fruit, akee, camu camu, breadfruit, carambola, chempedak, durian, custard apple, guarana, mango, mamoncillo, mangosteen, papaya, rambutan, rose apple

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