figs; veg or fruit?

Scott T. Meissner smeissne at PRAIRIENET.ORG
Mon Mar 6 08:00:44 EST 1995

In reply to the recent question by Lester Young who asked
if a fig is a fruit or vegetable:

Figs are an entire inflorescence.  This group of flowers
is closed over.  This makes it a fruit, as it comes from 
a flower and has seeds.  It is also a multiple fruit, as
it is formed from the fusion of many separate flowers.  
What we eat is really a swelling of the receptacle.

Vegetables are formed from modifications of leaves, stems
or roots.  While fruits come from flowers, and mostly the
fruit wall is a modification of the ovarian wall.

Those who wish more information might wish to check out:

Biology of Plants, by Raven, Evert and Eichhorn.  1992
	by Worth Publishers, pgs 429-435.  Has the basic
	fruit types defined very nicely.


Economic botany:  Plants in our world.  By Simpson and 
	Conner-Ogorzaly, 1986.   This book is an excellant
	reference for many of the plants we use.

Hope that helps.

Aure Entuluva!

Scott T. Meissner	Division of Science and Mathematics
			McKendree College, 701 College Rd
			Lebanon, IL 62254
Tel:  (618)  537-6934   E-mail:  smeissne at

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