After the flower has faded, a new stage of its development begins – the formation of the fruit. The fruit is the most important reproductive organ for flowering plants, formed from a flower after pollination and fertilization.
The fruit consists of a pericarp and seeds. Seeds are formed from ovules. The seeds are in the fruit and are protected by the pericarp, so flowering plants are also called angiosperms.
The pericarp (the outer part of the fruit) is the overgrown and modified walls of the ovary of the pistil. Often other parts of the flower (the base of the stamens, petals, sepals, receptacle) are involved in the formation of the pericarp.
Example: the remains of sepals can be found on an apple.
In the pericarp, there is an accumulation of reserve nutrients: sugars, proteins, vitamins, fats, various aromatic substances, organic acids that are attractive to many animals. That is why fruits serve as a high-calorie food for various animals and humans. By feeding on fruits, animals contribute to their distribution.
The variety of fruits is very great.
If there is only one pistil in a flower, then the fruit that has developed from it is called simple.
Example: Peas, Wheat, Cherries – (A).
From a flower with several pistils, a composite, or complex, fruit is formed.
Example: raspberries, blackberries – (B).
Compound fruit is formed from a whole inflorescence as a result of accretion of several fruits and their transformation into a single whole.
Example: pineapple, figs, mulberries, beets – (C).
The meaning of the fruit
In the plant world, the role of fruits is enormous. The most important functions of the fetus:
1.fruits ensure the development, maturation and protection of seeds;
2. participation in the dispersal of plants;
3. Fruits serve as a valuable (high-calorie) food product for the entire animal world of our planet. Man also widely uses fruits and seeds: for food, for animal feed, in medicine and industry.