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What counts as a fruit and what counts as a vegetable? It's not what you'd expect

Mar 07, 2019

Botanists explained how fruits differ from vegetables. You’d be surprised to know that what you thought was a vegetable is actually a kind of fruit.

Based on hearsay, if an item of produce has seeds, it is considered as a fruit. If it’s seedless, then it is assumed as a type of vegetable. Although, this may not be entirely correct.

Botanists or plant scientists explained that a fruit is a portion of a flowering plant that grows from the ovary, which is the location where seeds are safely protected by the plant itself and is also where the dispersal of the seeds are regulated.

As for vegetables, they are the other parts of the plant: the roots, stem, and leaves.

What was a simple classification between fruits and vegetables somehow became a bit trivial. Still, it’s rather simple when examples are laid out.


The fruits are subcategorized based on which portions of the flower or its ovary have skin and seeds.

In botany, it has been explained that fruits could be citrus, pepos, caryopsis, pomes, drupes, or yet another kind.


It has long been established that tomatoes are not vegetables but fruits. Although, not a lot of people know that they are considered as berries.

By its definition, berries are fruits that come from a single flower with a single ovary but has many seeds. Based on that explanation, apart from tomatoes, eggplant, kiwis, pomegranates, and even bananas are considered as berries.

In addition, berries have two subcategories, which are citrus and pepos. Citrus has tough and oily outer layers, and it also has hairs in the innermost layers that contain “juice” surrounding the seed of the fruit.

Some examples of citrus fruits are oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes. All of them are berries.

As for the other type of berry, pepos have hard skins but have fleshy middle layers. The most known examples of these berries are watermelons, melons, and cantaloupes.


Caryopsis are dry fruits that don’t open when they reach maturity. These are mostly grains like wheat, rice, corn, and barley.

Next, drupes are rich in the flesh but have soft or leathery skins. They also have big seeds inside. Some examples of drupes are peaches, mangoes, cherries, apricots, almonds, and walnuts.

Pomes, on the other hand, are made from enlarged floral tissue. If you look at the bottom of the fruit, you will see a withered flower. These types of fruits also have a hard inner layer. Apples and pears would be described as pomes.


That’s right. Strawberries and raspberries are technically not categorized as berries. They are considered as aggregate fruits because they come from one flower with more than one ovaries.


Based on the definition given above, the types of produce that would be considered vegetables are beets, potatoes, and turnips since they are roots. Celery and broccoli come from the stems of the plant and spinach and lettuce are leaves. They are also vegetables.


While it is important to know whether a type of produce is a fruit or vegetable, at the end of the day, what matters is the nutrients you get from all of them.

Eating fruits and vegetables is good for the health and it is important to include them in your eating habits. Not only will you get in shape, but you will also protect yourself against diseases.

About NikiGold Joined at Jan 23, 2019

The only way to live well is to immediately go from where it is bad.

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