Compound fruit

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The term compound fruit is not used in technical botanical writing, but is sometimes used when it is not clear which of several fruit types is involved. A compound fruit is "composed of two or more similar parts".[1]

A raspberry is an aggregate fruit (shown with a raspberry beetle larva)
A pineapple is a multiple fruit.
A tomato is a simple fruit derived from a compound ovary.

A compound fruit may be:

  • An aggregate fruit, in which one flower contains several separate ovaries, which merge during development.
  • A multiple fruit, in which several flowers, each with an ovary, develop into small fruits that are clustered or fused together into a larger fruit.
  • A simple fruit formed from a compound ovary.

Grapes grow in clusters, but are not compound fruits. Each grape is grown from one ovary in one flower, and each grape remains an independent fruit.


  1. ^ Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press.