Encyclopedia of Drupe: Stone Family Information & Examples 2022


In the field of botany, the term “stone fruit” refers to two different types of fruits that share the trait of having a single seed enclosed inside a substantial covering structure.

Drupe: Stone Fruit In the field of botany, a drupe is the name given to a kind of fruit that consists of an outside fleshy section (the exocarp, or skin; and the mesocarp, or flesh) that surrounds a solid endocarp shell (the pit or stone) that contains a seed within. These fruits emerge from a single fertilized carpel, and the flowers that produce them mostly have superior ovaries. The fact that the ovary wall of the flower develops into a hard, lignified stone (also known as a pit) is what distinguishes drupes from other types of fruits.

Plums, cherries, peaches, apricots, and almonds are all members of the genus Prunus, which is comprised of trees and shrubs. It is typically classified as a subfamily of the rose family Rosaceae known as the Prunoideae (or Amygdaloideae), but it is sometimes occasionally classified as its own family known as the Prunaceae (or Amygdalaceae). In the field of botany, a drupe is the name given to a kind of fruit that consists of an outside fleshy section (the exocarp, or skin; and the mesocarp, or flesh) that surrounds a solid endocarp shell (the pit, stone, or pyrene) that contains a seed within. These fruits emerge from a single fertilized carpel, and the flowers that produce them mostly have superior ovaries. The fact that the ovary wall of the flower develops into a hard, lignified stone (also known as a pit) is what distinguishes drupes from other types of fruits. Each solitary drupe that is part of an aggregate fruit that is formed of several little drupes is referred to as a drupelet. However, some fleshy fruits, even if they have a stony shell, do not qualify as drupes since the seed coat that surrounds the seed is what creates the seed coat. Coffee, jujube, mango, olive, most palms (including date, coconut, and oil palms), pistachio, and all members of the genus Prunus, including the almond (in which the mesocarp is somewhat leathery), apricot, cherry, damson, nectarine, peach, and plum, are examples of flowering plants that produce drupes. Other flowering plants that produce drupes include coffee, pistachio Stone fruits may develop a nutritional problem known as corking when they do not get enough boron and/or calcium.

Terminology

The phrase “stone fruit” (sometimes spelled “stonefruit”) may be used interchangeably with the word “drupe,” although most often, it refers to the fruit of the Prunus genus alone. A drupe is said to have freestone characteristics if its stone may be easily extracted from the flesh of the fruit. Because it is not connected to the stone in any way, the flesh does not have to be severed in order to extract the stone. For applications that call for the stone to be carefully removed, it is best to choose stone-free types of fruit. This is particularly true if the stone removal will be done by hand. It is recommended to use freestone plums when producing prunes at home, and it is recommended to use freestone sour cherries when baking pies or preparing cherry soup. The term “clingstone” refers to a drupe that has a stone that is difficult to extract from the flesh of the fruit. Because the flesh is firmly linked to the stone, it has to be sliced away in order to liberate the stone. The clingstone variety of fruits found in the Prunus genus is the one that is most often used for jams and as table fruit. This is due to the fact that the flesh of clingstone fruits has a tendency to be more soft and juicy throughout. Tryma is a specialist name that is used for nut-like drupes that are difficult to classify in any other way. Both hickory nuts (Carya) and walnuts (Juglans), which belong to the Juglandaceae family, develop inside of an exterior husk. Technically speaking, these fruits are classified as drupes or drupaceous nuts, and they are not real botanical nuts.

Examples

Peaches, plums, and cherries are all examples of typical drupes (see pictures below). Because the mesocarp of the coconut is dry and fibrous (known as a husk), this kind of fruit is categorized as a simple dry fruit, fibrous drupe. The coconut is a form of drupe. Because of the size of the coconut seed, it is very improbable that it would be disseminated by animals owing to being ingested like other types of drupes. However, it has the ability to float over seas for very large distances. The drupelets that make up bramble fruits (like the blackberry and the raspberry, for example) are aggregated into bramble fruits. Raspberries and blackberries both get their fruit from a single flower, which has a pistil that is composed of many carpels that are free to move about. However, mulberries, which resemble blackberries very closely, are not aggregate fruits but rather are many fruits that are really generated from bunches of catkins, with each drupelet hence belonging to a separate flower. Mulberries are not an example of an aggregate fruit. In the case of palm species, for example, a considerable number of drupes will be discovered grouped together in a cluster. Certain drupes will be found in enormous clusters. Jubaea chilensis, which grows in the central region of Chile, and Washingtonia filifera, which grows in the Sonoran Desert of North America, are both examples of plants that produce such huge clusters of drupes.

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