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Encyclopedia > List of fruit

Here are lists of all the fruits considered edible in some cuisine. Note that many true fruits are considered to be vegetables in the culinary sense (for example, the tomato), and hence do not appear in this article. There exist also many fruits that are edible but for various reasons have not become popular.


Temperate fruits

Fruits of temperate climates are almost universally borne on trees or woody shrubs or lianas. They will not grow adequately in the tropics, as they need a period of cold (a chilling requirement) each year before they will flower. The apple, pear, cherry, and plum are the most widely grown and eaten, owing to their adaptability. Many other fruits are important regionally but do not figure prominently in commerce. Many sorts of small fruit on this list are gathered from the wild, just as they were in Neolithic times.

Rosaceae family

The Family Rosaceae dominates the temperate fruits, both in numbers and in importance. The pome fruits, stone fruits, brambles, strawberry, and rosehip are fruits of plants in Rosaceae.

The pome fruits:

  • Apple and crabapple (Malus spp.)
  • Chokeberry also called cooking apple (Aronia spp.)
  • Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)
  • Juneberry or saskatoon (Amelanchier spp.)
  • Loquat (Eryobotrya japonica)
  • Medlar (Mespilus germanica)
  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
  • Pear, European and Asian species (Pyrus spp.)
  • Quince (Cydonia oblonga and Chaenomeles spp.)
  • Rowan (Sorbus spp.)
  • Service tree (Sorbus domestica), the fruit known as sorb or sorb apple
  • Rose hip, the fruitlike base of roses (Rosa spp.); used mostly for jams and herbal tea

The stone fruits, drupes of genus Prunus:

  • Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
  • Cherry, sweet, sour, and wild species (Prunus avium, P. cerasus, and others)
  • Plum, of which there are several domestic and wild species; dried plums are called prunes
  • Peach (of the normal and white variety) and its variant the nectarine (Prunus persica)
  • Hybrids of the preceding species, such as the pluot


In non-technical usage, berry means any small fruit that can be eaten whole and lacks objectionable seeds. The bramble fruits, compound fruits of genus Rubus, are some of the most popular pseudo-berries:

The true berries are dominated by the family Ericaceae, many of which are hardy in the subarctic:

Other berries not in the Rosaceae or Ericaceae:

Fruits of Asian origin

Some fruits native to Asia that were not common elsewhere until the 20th century:

Fruits of American origin

Some other tree fruits native to North America that are eaten in a small way:

  • Buffaloberry (Shepherdia argenta; Elaeagnaceae), which grows wild in the prairies of Canada
  • American grape: North American species (e.g., Vitis labrusca; Vitaceae) and American-European hybrids are grown where Vitis vinifera is not hardy and are used as rootstocks
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba; Annonaceae, not to be confused with Carica papaya, which is called pawpaw in some English dialects)
  • American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana; Ebenaceae)
  • Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco; Rosaceae)
  • False-mastic (Mastichodendron foetidissimum; Sapotaceae)


Several cacti yield edible fruits, which are important traditional foods for some Native American peoples:


Some exceptions to the statement that temperate fruits grow on woody perennials are:

Accessory fruits

The accessory fruits, seed organs which are not botanically berries at all::


A few vegetables are sometimes colloquially, but incorrectly, termed as "fruit" in the kitchen:

Mediterranean and subtropical fruits

Fruits in this category are not hardy to extreme cold, as the preceding temperate fruits are, yet tolerate some frost and may have a modest chilling requirement. Notable among these are natives of the Mediterranean:

In the important genus Citrus (Rutaceae), some members are tropical, tolerating no frost. All common species of commerce are somewhat hardy:

  • Citron (Citrus medica)
  • Grapefruit and its predecesor the pommelo (also known as the shaddock) (Citrus paradisi)
  • Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
  • Kumquat (Fortunella spp.)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Lime (Citrus aurantifolia x medica) (an important hybrid of the Key Lime and the Citron)
  • Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), clementine (Citrus reticulata var. Clementine), tangelo (Citrus tangelo), tangerine, and similar
  • Orange, of which there are sweet (Citrus sinensis) and sour (Citrus aurantium) species
  • Ugli fruit, a hybrid

Other subtropical fruits:

Tropical fruits

Tropical fruit grow on plants of all habitats. The only characteristic that they share is an intolerance of frost.

Nonedible fruit

See also

  Results from FactBites:
How to Buy Fresh Fruits (5614 words)
Fresh fruits and fruit juices contain many vitamins and minerals, they are low in fat (except avocados) and sodium, and they provide dietary fiber.
The kiwifruit is a relatively small, ellipsoid-shaped fruit with a bright green, slightly acid-tasting pulp surrounding many small, fl, edible seeds, which in turn surround a pale heart.
The larger the fruit, the greater the proportion of edible flesh.
  More results at FactBites »



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