Fruits & Vegetables
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Our Living Language: To most of us, a fruit is a plant part that is
eaten as a dessert or snack because it is sweet, but to a botanist a
fruit is a mature ovary of a plant, and as such it may or may not
taste sweet.  All species of flowering plants produce fruits that
contain seeds. A peach, for example, contains a pit that can grow
into a new peach tree, while the seeds known as peas can grow into
another pea vine. To a botanist, apples, peaches, peppers, tomatoes,
pea pods, cucumbers, and winged maple seeds are all fruits. A
vegetable is simply part of a plant that is grown primarily for food.
Thus, the leaf of spinach, the root of a carrot, the flower of broccoli,
and the stalk of celery are all vegetables. In everyday, nonscientific
speech we make the distinction between sweet plant parts (fruits)
and non-sweet plant parts (vegetables). This is why we speak of
peppers and cucumbers and squash—all fruits in the eyes of a
botanist—as vegetables.

fruit. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Retrieved
April 04, 2015, from
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