|MadSci Network: Botany
What most people call seeds on the outside of the strawberry fruit are actually the true fruits. Technically, they are achenes. In an achene, the single seed is enclosed by the ovary wall. A sunflower fruit is also an achene. A strawberry "fruit" is unusual because the red, fleshy part is the enlarged receptacle. The receptacle is the enlarged tip of the flowering stem to which the petals, sepals, stamens and carpels are attached. The strawberry is said to have an accessory fruit because much tissue other than the ovary is part of the "fruit". Apples and pineapples are also accessory fruits. The strawberry is also termed an aggregate fruit because it is formed from many separate carpels of a single flower. Other aggregate fruits are raspberry and blackberry. Some people mistakenly refer to strawberries as a multiple fruit. In a multiple fruit, the carpels of several flowers merge to form the fruit. Pineapple and figs are multiple fruits. Scientific fruit terminology is often confused. Adding to the confusion is that there are popular definitions for fruit, nut and berry. Most "nuts" are not botanical nuts. The peanut fruit is a legume. The walnut fruit is a drupe. Ginkgo nuts are seeds of a gymnosperm, and gymnosperms produce no fruits. Many berries are not botanical berries. The strawberry fruit is an achene. The raspberry fruit is a drupe. Juniper berries are seeds of a gymnosperm. References Fruit types and classification of fruits Seeds and Fruits Fruit Growth and Fruit Types Classifying Fruit
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