Fruit Growth Patterns

Alan N. Lakso Martin C. Goffinet

To understand the development of fruit crops, one must first understand the relationship between the fruit and the flower(s) from which it comes. After all, the fruit can be defined as the ripened ovary of the flower, with or without other adherent floral parts, other flowers, or inflorescence structures. The ovary is that part of the female floral structure (the pistil) that contains the rudimentary seeds (ovules). Each ovule becomes a seed only after sperm transmitted from germinating pollen grains fertilizes the egg cell in the ovule. Although the term "fruit" is used in many ways, common temperate zone tree fruit develop from single flowers, even if the flowers occur in clusters. The growth patterns of fruit are in great part determined by the organization and growth potential of the floral organs and any other associated structures that contribute tissue to the mature fruit.

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