Multiple fruit

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Pineapple is a kind of multiple fruit.

Multiple fruits, also called collective fruits, are fruits that are formed from a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence).[1][2] Each flower in the inflorescence produces a fruit, but these mature into a single mass.[3] Examples are the fig, pineapple, mulberry, osage-orange, and breadfruit.

In languages other than English, the meanings of multiple and aggregate fruit are reversed, so that multiple fruits merge several pistils within a single flower.[4]

In some plants, such as this noni, flowers are produced regularly along the stem and it is possible to see together examples of flowering, fruit development, and fruit ripening

In the photograph on the left, stages of flowering and fruit development in the noni or Indian mulberry (Morinda citrifolia) can be observed on a single branch. First an inflorescence of white flowers called a head is produced. After fertilization, each flower develops into a drupe, and as the drupes expand, they become connate (merge) into a multiple fleshy fruit called a syncarp. There are also many dry multiple fruits.

Other examples of multiple fruits:

  • Platanus, multiple achenes from multiple flowers, in a single fruit structure
  • Mulberry, multiple flowers form one fruit
  • Common Fig, multiple flowers form one fruit (inside the fruit)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ Beentje, H.; Williamson, J. (2010). The Kew Plant Glossary: an Illustrated Dictionary of Plant Terms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Kew Publishing. 
  3. ^ Schlegel. Encyclopedic Dictionary. p. 282. 
  4. ^ Spjut, R.; Thieret, J. (1989). "Confusion between multiple and aggregate fruits". The Botanical Review 55 (1): 53–72. doi:10.1007/bf02868781.