What is the reproductive purpose of fruits?

Expert Answers
mvcdc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We know that fruits contain seeds. In a plant, the seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a seed coat, and containing a food storage for the nutrients of the embryonic plant (which we can think of as the possible next generation, or the offspring). Fruit-bearing plants contain these seeds for reasons including protection and dissemination. The seed is protected as it is enclosed inside the fruit. Some fruits are hard (or not easily penetrable) such that the seed is not easily accessed. On the other hand, it can disseminated by attracting animals such as birds (or humans). Colorful fruits can attract birds, while tasty (sweet, or sour) fruits can attract humans, for instance. Usually, we eat the flesh of the fruit and get rid of the seeds. Seeds, when eaten, can pass through the gut undamaged, and hence emerge elsewhere (e.g. in animal wastes, which can serve as a fertilizer). Other fruits have pods, which dry up as they mature, and open up to release the seeds. Still, other fruits can disseminate the seed using wind (e.g. maple). Water dispersion is also possible- example is coconut which can float in the ocean (which is why we usually portray islands as having coconut trees).

Hence, fruits help in the dissemination of plant seeds, thus increasing chance of growing new ones.

orchid101 | Student
Morphologically a fruit is the seed-bearing portion of the plant, and consists of the ripened overy and its contents. Simple friuts are derived from a single overy, and compound fruits from more than one. The aggregated fruits are formed from numerous carpels of the same flower, while composite fruits develope from the ovaries of different flowers of an inflorescence. A fruit consists of two parts. The overy wall develops into the pericarp and the ovules develop into seeds. The pericarp generally consists of an outer epicarp, middle mesocarp and inner endocarp.The seeds develope into fruits and give rise to new plants.