In botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary, together with seeds, of a flowering plant.
In many species, the fruit incorporates the ripened ovary and surrounding tissues.
Fruits are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds.
In cuisine, when discussing fruit as food, the term usually refers to just those plant fruits that are sweet and fleshy, examples of which include plum, apple and orange.
However, a great many common vegetables, as well as nuts and grains, are the fruit of the plant species they come from.Many foods are botanically fruit but are treated as vegetables in cooking.
These include cucurbits (e.g., squash, pumpkin, and cucumber), tomato, aubergine (eggplant), and sweet pepper, spices, such as allspice and chillies.
Seedlessness is an important feature of some fruits of commerce.
Commercial cultivars of bananas and pineapples are examples of seedless fruits.
Some cultivars of citrus fruits (especially navel oranges and mandarin oranges), table grapes, grapefruit, and watermelons are valued for their seedlessness.
In some species, seedlessness is the result of parthenocarpy, where fruits set without fertilization.
Parthenocarpic fruit set may or may not require pollination.
Most seedless citrus fruits require a pollination stimulus; bananas and pineapples do not.
Seedlessness in table grapes results from the abortion of the embryonic plant that is produced by fertilization, a phenomenon known as stenospermocarpy which requires normal pollination and fertilization.