There are many different types of fruit in the world, some which may yet to be discovered. Fruit comes from the tissue of a flowering plant, usually the ovaries but sometimes an accessory tissue. The evolutionary purpose of fruit is seed dissemination. When people think of the different types of fruit, they normally think of it in culinary terms and not botanical. Any plant part that taste sweet and can be eaten raw, without preparation, would be considered a fruit in the culinary sense. This would include oranges, apples, grapes, pears, bananas, kiwi, coconuts, and so on; however, botanically speaking, the spores from a fungus are considered types of fruit.
When fruit comes from a part of the flower other than the ovary, it is called an accessory fruit. An accessory fruit is also known as false fruit, even though the term is antiquated and discredited by botanist. Accessory fruits include apples, figs, pears, and mulberries.
Botanist categorize types of fruit into three different groups: simple fruit, aggregate fruit, and composite fruit. Simple fruits are further subdivided into two types: dry and fleshy. A dry fruit can be either dehiscent or indehiscent. Simply put, dehiscent fruits open to release seeds and indehiscent fruits do not openóan acorn is indehiscent. A fleshy fruit is defined by part or all of the fruit wall being fleshy at maturity. Although they are listed separately, many fruit groups overlap and certain types fall into multiple categories. A list of simple fruits: achene, capsule (poppy seeds), caryopsis (grains), Cypsela, fibrous drupe (coffee, mangoes, olives, plum, cherry, peach, apricot), follicle, legume (peas, lupins, carob, peanuts, alfalfa, clover, soybeans, clover, lupins, lentils, and mesquite), loment, nut (chestnuts, acorns, hazelnuts, and beechnuts), samara, schizocarps, silique, silicle, utricle, and berries.
Berries are a fascinating type of simple, fleshy fruit. When most people think of berries, they think of blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, et cetera. Interestingly, fruits like grapes, tomatoes, bananas, avocados, eggplants, and persimmons all fall under the berry category. Berries are a type of simple, fleshy fruit as well as a type of aggregate fruit.
An aggregate fruit comes from a single flower. This flower has multiple, unjoined carpels that contain a single pistil each. These pistils each produce individual fuitlets called etaerios. Aggregate fruits are subdivided into achenes, drupelets, berries, and follicles. Some examples of aggregate fruits: strawberries, loganberries, wineberries, cloudberries, boysenberries, blackberries, raspberries, and dewberries.
The final fruit group is known as a composite fruit, or multiple fruit. This is produced from a cluster of flowers. Each flower produces its own tiny fruit, and, as the fruits grow, they begin to merge into a single entity. The most common examples of composite fruit are the Osage-orange, breadfruit, figs, mulberries, pomegranates, pineapples, and dates.
When types of fruit are viewed from a mercantile or commercial perspective, different categorization occurs. Seedless types of fruit are in high demand by consumers because of their ease in consumption. Seedless types of fruit include bananas, navel oranges, watermelon, grapefruit, grapes, and pineapples. Seedless does not mean that the fruit does not produce seeds. It means that through the process of parthenocarpy or stenospermocarpy the seeds ceased to develop or they do not fully mature. An example of this can be seen in certain types of grapes where seeds are still visible, but they are soft and sweet to the palate.