Why Do Fruits Produce Different Amounts of Seeds?

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Fruit Information

What types of fruit did you receive in your fruit gift this year? Many fruit gift baskets you can order online from Pittman & Davis contain a variety of fruits for you or your loved ones to enjoy. For instance, our Family Gourmet Gift Basket contains (in addition to a Boneless Turkey Breast, Boneless Peppered Ham, and a variety of gourmet sweets and treats) a selection of Navel Oranges, Rio Ruby™ Red Grapefruit, and King Comice Pears. Some fruits (like our King Comice Pears) contain seeds, while others (like our Navel Oranges) don’t.

Whether or not you order your fruits online, you probably already know that the fact that they contain seeds is one of the criteria for what differentiates a fruit from a vegetable. Of course, you can elect to send fruits that don’t have seeds in them (like our Cara Cara Oranges), but the fact is that, unless a self-pollinating fruit has fallen prey to genetic error, or a fruit tree has been grown through the gardening technique known as grafting, all fruits have at least one seed. The question is, how many seeds does your fruit gift contain? And why does the number of seeds vary from fruit to fruit?

Why Fruits Have Seeds

You may think that a fruit’s primary job is to provide nourishment to other living things, but in fact it’s most important job is to ensure the survival of the plant from which it has sprung. This is accomplished through the seeds hidden inside the fruit.

In fact, the main reason fruit tastes so good is so it can entice birds and other animals to eat it, thereby releasing the seeds inside or even carrying them away to distribute elsewhere so more plants can be grown.

Different plants have different strategies for seed production and dispersal. Some fruits (like watermelons) produce many seeds to increase the likelihood that more plants will grow; others (like avocados) put all of their resources into producing and protecting one very large seed.

Why Some Fruits Have Multiple Seeds & Others Just One

Fruiting plants produce flowers, which contain male and female parts. The male part of a fruiting flower is the pollen-producing stamen, while the female part is the pistil that leads to the plant’s ovules and ovaries.

Some plants (for example, many varieties of citrus trees) can self-pollinate without help, but most fruit trees require help from the wind, birds, bats, bees and other insects to transport the pollen from one plant’s female parts to another plant’s male parts. This process is known as cross-pollination.

Some trees (like cherries or peaches) contain fruits that produce only one seed. This is because there is only a single ovule inside that plant’s pistil. The fruit from these trees are known as simple fruits. Peaches, plums, cherries and other such fruits are known as stone fruits or drupes.

Aggregate fruits (more commonly called berries) have multiple pistils in each flower, which in turn produce multiple berries.

Multiple fruits (like pineapple) are made up of a group of blossoms that get together to produce one large fruit.

Apples and pears are called pomes. Their fruits have their seeds clustered in the center of the fruit, protected by the peel and flesh of the fruit.

Fascinating Fruit

Next time you order fruit basket gifts for friends or order fruit online from Pittman & Davis, stop for a moment to marvel at the complex biology that makes delicious, nutritious, and refreshing fruit available to us!

Other Articles You May Find Interesting:

• Why Do Navel Oranges Have Navels?
Why Are Peaches So Good?
Why Gift Baskets Are Still The Perfect Business Gift
3 Reasons Why We Should Eat Navel Oranges in Moderation

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