In this brief guide, we’ll address the Search query is corn a fruit also, we’ll explore what the definition of fruit is, and what a vegetable is.
Is corn a fruit?
Yes, corn is a fruit in the botanical sense. Corn is a caryopsis; a dry fruit that is characterized by its seed being fused to the outlier that protects it.
This is because corn cobs are a product of pollinated flowers, which generate seeds that ripen on the cob.
The male flowering part of a corn plant is located at the top, and it is known as the tassel. Pollen is generated in these male flowers, and when it is released, it is dispersed to female flowers, which are located in the immature corn ears.
The female flower in corn is made up of ovaries, pollen tubes (the fine hairs that stick out of a corn plant’s axilla), and cells that will fuse with pollen to generate an embryo.
When pollination occurs, the pollen cells are transported through the fine hairs towards the ovaries, where they’ll fuse and double fertilization will occur.
As a result, maize kernels will ripen on the corn cob, and each kernel will have an embryo and an endosperm.
For this reason, corn cobs are considered to be a botanical fruit.
What is the definition of a fruit?
Fruit is an organ in vegetables, that transitions from an unpollinated flower to mature fruit, once it has been fertilized with pollen.
However, some maintain that fruit alludes to a plant organ that is sweet and can be ingested without the need to cook it beforehand, though there are some exceptions.
Botanically speaking, there are many types of fruits, that can be found in the many different flowering plant families.
Fruits can be divided into fleshy fruits, and dry fruits, depending on their water content once they’ve fully ripened. Also, dry fruits can be categorized into fruits that naturally open to release their seeds (a trait called dehiscence), and those that remain sealed.
Fleshy fruits can be categorized, based on their morphology (forms) into:
- Berries – fruits that have an outer peel, and the seeds within are surrounded by a fleshy layer. (grapes, tomatoes, avocados)
- Stonefruits (drupes) – fruits that have seeds within that are surrounded by three layers: a peel, a fleshy layer, and a hard (oftentimes rugose) shell,
- False berries – accessory fruits that are made up of parts of the flower, as well as the mature ovary (figs, strawberries, bananas, cranberries)
- Pomes – accessory fruits that develop from an ovary that is located beneath the flower’s calyx, and contain accessory tissue.
Dry fruits can be classified into capsules, achenes, silicles, siliques, samaras, pods, caryopsis, nuts, etc.
It should be noted that the denomination of dry fruits also depends on their traits, such as whether or not they open, how the seeds are distributed if the seeds have any appendages, and the nature of the tissues, such as their floral origin and positioning.
Also, there are aggregate fruits, and fruits that are made up of multiple flowers. The exact nature of the fruit, will again, depend on its morphology and developmental traits, though for example, legume pods and bananas are both fruits, in the botanical sense.
To summarize, what may be considered a fruit in the botanical sense, exceeds the layman’s notion of fruit.
What is a vegetable?
The exact definition of a vegetable may vary between sources. Some regard vegetables as plant organs that are not derived from flowers. As such, they can be sourced from leaves, roots, stems, inflorescences, and other plant organs that aren’t sourced from fertilized flowers.
These can include grains such as beans, wheat, oats, corn, and barley, leaves such as lettuce, kale, collard greens, spinaches, and stems such as onions, celery, asparagus, and roots such as carrots, radishes, turnips, and others.
Others may allude to vegetables as plant organs that forcibly require preparation (such as cooking) before they can be consumed, such as potatoes and beans.
Others maintain that vegetables are savory, and fruits are sweet, though this is not always the case, as tomatoes may be savory, and are a fruit.
To summarize, there are many ways to define a vegetable, though the most sensical one, is the one that states that vegetables are plant organs that are not derived from matured flowers, or that require cooking before being ingested
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the Search query is corn a fruit also, we’ve explored what the definition of fruit is, and what a vegetable is.