The berry, in botany, is a fruit with a thin, membranous epicarp and a pulpy and juicy mesocarp and endocarp in which the seeds are dispersed. On this term some confusions are often generated by incorporating in the berries also fruits of other genera such as the juniper galbulo, the strawberry aggregate fruit or the laurel drupe; this is because they are small, fleshy and edible (or used as flavoring). Other fruits, properly berries, from the botanical point of view, like the fruit of the pepper, of the aubergine, of the tomato and the grape of the grape, are often not defined as such.
The berry originates from the transformation of a supreme ovary with numerous ova. In the epicarp berry, mesocarp and endocarp are of fleshy consistency and the seeds that derive from the modification of the ova, are fully immersed in the endocarp.
As for the drupes also for the berries the animals are attracted by the bright colors of many of these and especially by their good taste, nourishing them.
The seeds of the berries have the characteristic of resisting the digestion of the animals that feed them, so, through the defecation, they provide for their dissemination. This is in effect a mechanism of mutual utility for which the plant can continue to propagate while the animal is nourished.
For greater precision it is clarified that some fruits, often identified as berries, in fact, by mechanism of formation and for the tissues involved in their formation, are not berries.
The following fruits are not berries:
– the esperidi, characteristic fruits of citrus fruits;
– false berries because they derive from an inferior ovary which, in their formation, does not involve only the ovary, but also other parts of the flower (eg bananas and blueberries);
– the peponids; false berries typical of the Cucurbitaceae (eg melons and cucumbers);
– the grouped drupes (as in raspberry) that look like a single fruit.