adapted from Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge by Ron Lance. Used by permission.
To see photographic examples of a term, click the camera next to it in the list of botanical terms.
Seeds may be single per fruit (then often called "pits" or "stones"), or numerous.
Simple vs. Compound:
- Aggregates are compound fruits from one flower which had many pistils, as in maple, magnolia, rose, blackberry.
- Multiples are compound fruits from inflorescences, usually from closely clustered heads or spikes of flowers, crowding and growing together as one mass with maturity (as in mulberry, osage-orange, sweetgum, sycamore).
Drupe: usually 1-seeded; endocarp stony; matured ovary wall fleshy (as in cherry, blackgum)
Berry: from one ovary, with several immersed seed (as in blueberry, pawpaw)
Pome: from one ovary with fused carpels, the "skin" derived from a hypanthium which covered ovary (as in apple, servicebeny)
Hip: in roses, an aggregate of achenes, surrounded by a fleshy-walled receptacle
Achene: from a simple pistil; a small, hard fruit with a thin pericarp or seed coat; as in sycamore, rose, sweetshrub "seeds"
Samara: a winged achene-like fruit, as in maple, ash
Nut: a hard, generally 1-seeded fruit partially or wholly enclosed in a husk (involucre), as in hickory, chestnut, oak
Legume: a one-chambered fruit from a simple pistil; splits down two sutures; in Fabaceae (legume) family
Pod (follicle): a one-chambered fruit from a simple pistil; splits down one side, as in magnolia, yellowroot
Capsule: usually several-chambered fruit; from a compound pistil; splits along 2 or more sutures, as in rhododendron, buckeye
Strobile: a conelike fruit derived from a spike or catkin-like inflorescence; composed of nutlets growing between protective layers of bracts; in birches and alders
Cone: the fruit of gymnosperms such as pine, spruce; the seeds are matured ovules held between bracts, not in ovaries
Plant Morphology Terms
- General Terms
- Palms & Palmettos glossary
- Palms & Palmettos pictorial glossary
- The Blue Ridge
- North Carolina (PDF)
- South Carolina (PDF)
- SC's Wildflower Communities
- The Southeast Mountains
From Wayne's Word, an online textbook of natural history
- Flower Terminology #1
- Flower Terminology #2
- Flower Terminology #3
- Inflorescence Terminology #1
- Inflorescence Terminology #2
- Leaf Terminology #1
- Leaf Terminology #2
From vPlants: a Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region
From Vascular Plant Systematics, by Radford, Dickison, Massey, and Bell
From the Plant Information Center at UNC, Chapel Hill
From the Australian Pea-flowered Legume Research Group
From the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation