You’ll Cherr-ish This Plum List Of Fruits By Type

Fruits and vegetables are both parts of plants that we eat for food. In everyday terms, fruits are sweet, and vegetables are savory. But to a botanist, how something tastes doesn’t matter. To these scientists, the word fruit specifically refers to the edible part of a seed plant that develops from a flower into a ripened ovary that contains one or more seeds—fertilized seeds capable of generating a new plant. Therefore, a vegetable is technically a kind of fruit. 

In this article, we are going to look at six common types of fruit. For some of these categories, there is both a scientific name used by botanists and a common name used by everyone else. Some of the groupings might surprise you. Like, what could a banana possibly have in common with a tomato? Let’s find out. 

drupes or stone fruit

Scientists use the term drupe to describe any fruit with an outer skin, a pulpy middle layer, and a hard and wood inner shell enclosing a single seed. The word drupe comes from the Greek drýppa, which means “olive.” That’s right, olives are a kind of drupe. You probably know drupes better as “stone fruit,” so-called because of the hard pit they have in the center. Some examples of drupes or stone fruit are: 

Fruits are known not only for their tastes but also for their vibrant and varying colors. Learn more color words, many of which come from fruits!


The word berry has slightly different meanings depending on whom you’re talking to. To most of us, a berry is any small, stoneless, juicy fruit like a strawberry. To botanists, a berry is a fruit with a pulpy flesh (pericarp) in which seeds are embedded. Some fruits that are considered berries by scientists are: 

But, wait, what about fruits with berry in the name? Aren’t those berries? To the everyday person, yes, but to scientists, many of the things we call “berries” are actually considered aggregate fruits or multiple fruits. Examples of these pseudo-berries include: 

pepos or gourds

Really large berries (in the scientific sense) are known as pepos. You probably better know most of them as gourds. In fact, the word pepo comes from the Greek expression pépōn síkyos, meaning “ripe gourd.” Pepos have a fleshy, many-seeded interior and a hard or firm rind. Examples of these fruit include: 

It’s the age-old question: are cucumbers technically fruits, vegetables, or both? We break down the differences.


The word pome looks a lot like the French word for “apple,” pomme, and that is, in fact one of the fruit in this scientific category. Pomes are fruit “in which the edible flesh arises from the greatly swollen receptacle and not from the carpels.” The receptacle is essentially the stem. In other words, pomes tend to have prominent stems. Examples of pomes include:  

hesperidium or citrus fruits

One of the largest categories of fruit is citrus, the name given to the tart, pulpy fruit of Citrus trees, which often have a smooth, shiny, stippled skin or rind. The botanical term for this category is hesperidium [ hes-puhrid-ee-uhm ]. This name comes from the story of the Hesperídes in Greek mythology. The Hesperídes were nymphs who guarded the golden fruit on a mythical island. Examples of fruit in the category of hesperidium or citrus are: 


Colloquially, we refer to any dry fruit with an edible kernel or meat enclosed in a woody or leathery shell as a nut. That’s why we refer to a peanut as a nut, even though technically it’s legume. To a botanist, though, a nut is “a hard one-seeded fruit” that does not open at maturity (indehiscent). Examples of nuts, according to botanists and probably also squirrels, are: 

If you enjoyed this fruit salad, you will probably also enjoy learning about foods that get their names from places, like turkey and scallions. Check out our article Treat Yourself To the Origins of 11 Food Toponyms. And see the fruits of your labor pay off by using our fruit word list to master fruit names!

Where there are fruits, there are (often) flowers. Get to know some fun floral names!

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