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What is a Drupe?

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Let Us Answer the Question, what is considered a drupe? A drupe is a fleshy fruit usually consisting of a single seed. It means that drupe is any fruit that grows from a single ovary of an individual flower where the outer layer of the ovary turns into the skin or peel of the fruit, and the middle layer is what turns into the fleshy fruit. The inner layer called the putamen or the pit is the hard layer covering the single seed within. Some examples of a drupe can be cherry, mango, peach, dogwood, olive, walnut, etc. 


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Types of Drupes

Several Different Kinds of Drupes Are Cultivated Worldwide and Are, in fact, very readily available in the market. Drupes are generally very rich in antioxidants. However, the amount of antioxidants present in the drupe varies from one to the other drupe variations available. Consequently, each type of drupe carries ample nutrients. However, each variation of drupes comes with different types of nutrients. The following list of drupes primarily covers all the different kinds of drupes that are cultivated around the globe:

  • Apricot

  • Avocado

  • Bayberry

  • Blackberry

  • Cherry

  • Coconut

  • Coffee

  • Damson

  • Date

  • Dogwood

  • Hackberry

  • Jujube

  • Kukui nuts

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Mango

  • Nectarine

  • Olive

  • Peach

  • Pecan 

  • Pistachio nuts

  • Plum

  • Raspberry

  • Walnut

Thus, several nuts can be classified into drupes. Many botanists argue that the outer husk of these nuts split into four valves, and the outer husk is what is a part of the pericarp, followed by which is the hard inner layer, which covers the seed or endocarp. Thus, sometimes, it becomes a little difficult to define what a drupe is.


How to Differentiate Between a Nut and a Drupe?

So, what is considered a drupe? How do you differentiate it from others? Nuts and dupes appear to be very similar to each other. However, they are very different. It can be studied and understood botanically. A nut is what has a hard shell that contains both the seed and the fruit within. This layer is what is the entire ovary or the pericarp. The outer layer of husk covering the hard shell is not a part of the ovary or the pericarp. Some good examples of authentic nuts can be hazelnuts, chestnuts and so on. On the other hand, a drupe is referred to as a fruit that is surrounded by an outer peel which is usually hard and is followed by a fleshy layer beyond which a single seed drupe is present. Some examples of drupes are mango, cherry, walnuts and pecans.

 

How to Differentiate Between a Berry and a Drupe?

People often get confused about how a drupe is different from a berry. Drupe and berry both are fruits that hold a fleshy texture. However, they are not the same thing. A drupe is what consists of three distinct and seemingly evident layers of the pericarp, among which the mesocarp is what is edible. The exocarp is edible in particular cases. However, the endocarp is what is the hard layer surrounding the seed and is not edible. 


How Can We Identify a Drupe?

A drupe can be identified by focusing on its botanical construction. A drupe is usually a fleshy fruit that is surrounded by a hard shell. This shell or pit is a part of the ovary wall or the exocarp, beyond which is the fruit's fleshy layer, which is also a part of the ovary. This fleshy layer is the middle layer of the ovary called the mesocarp. Following these two layers comes the final and the ovary's innermost layer, which is called the endocarp. This endocarp, or the putamen, is a hard layer that covers the seed. 


Classification of Drupes

There are quite a few types of drupes that are cultivated around the globe. Drupes can be classified into three classes. These are:


Freestone Drupes: 

These drupes comprise a stone pit that can be easily removed from the fruit's fleshy layer. For example, peach, plum, nectarines and so on.


Clingstone Drupes: 

A clingstone drupe comprises a pit or stone that cannot be removed from the fruit’s fleshy layer quickly. Some examples of clingstone drupes are mangoes, apricots, olives and so on. 


Tryma Drupes: 

These drupes are those drupes that are very similar to nuts and are often referred to as drupaceous nuts. Some examples of tryna nuts include walnuts, pecan nuts, pistachio nuts and so on.


What is a Druplet?

Going beyond the typical one-seeded drupe, a druplet consists of a small or a large cluster of drupes, each containing a single seed. Thus, a droplet is another classification of drupes that comprises multiple drupes clumped together into a single fruit. These aggregated drupes are what is known as drupelets. The botanical explanation of druplets states that these druples are formed on the fusing of numerous carpels or ovules containing structures together to form a single flower, which consequently grows into a single fruit or a druplet. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is Coconut a Drupe?

Ans: From the botanical point of view, a coconut is a drupe that is fibrous and is one-seeded. Coconut is also referred to as dry drupe. A coconut has all three layers of pericarp; the exocarp is the smooth, greenish layer, the mesocarp is the fibrous husk and then comes the endocarp surrounding the seed. Thus, as per botanical experts, coconut is a one seeded drupe and is also known to be a dry drupe. However, when we purchase coconut at a store, its mesocarp as well as endocarp are actually removed. Some experts like to call it a water dispersal fruit.

2. Is an Avocado a Drupe?

Ans: An avocado does possess a single seed just like a drupe and consists only of the endocarp’s fleshy layer. However, they are classified as a berry and not a drupe because the seed of an avocado has a fleshy endocarp, unlike the hard one of a drupe. Thus, though these avocados are usually prepared as a vegetable, it is still a biological fruit. Also, they are considered to be single-seeded berries coming from the families of bay laurel and cinnamon trees. However, they are much different from blueberries or blackberries. Also, as per some studies, they are very much like drupes.