The basic difference between a fruit and a vegetable is a fruit is the
matured ovary of a flower, containing the seed while a vegetable are
the roots, stems, leaves, bulbs, tubers, and other bits of plants that
you might eat.
"The difference between a fruit and vegetable depends largely on your
perspective. From a botanical perspective, a fruit is the mature ovary
of a plant, such as an apple, melon, cucumber, or tomato. From the
common, every day "grocery store perspective," we tend to use the word
fruit with respect to fruits eaten fresh as desserts - apples,
peaches, cherries, etc. - and not to items cooked or used in salads.
So, tomatoes tend to be lumped in with vegetables because of the way
they are used (cooked and in salads), but botanists will call them
fruits because they develop from the reproductive structures of
Cornell University: Department of Horticulture
"What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
"A vegetable is the edible portion of a plant. Vegetables are usually
grouped according to the portion of the plant that is eaten such as
leaves (lettuce), stem (celery), roots (carrot), tubers (potato),
bulbs (onion) and flowers (broccoli).
A fruit is the mature ovary of a plant. So a tomato is botanically a
fruit but is commonly considered a vegetable. According to this
definition squash, pepper and eggplants are also fruits. Then there
are seeds such as peas which are also considered vegetables."
The Funk & Wagnalls Multimedia Encyclopedia has the following definitions:
"Vegetable - the edible product of a herbaceous plant-that is, a plant
with a soft stem, as distinguished from the edible nuts and fruits
produced by plants with woody stems such as shrubs and trees.
Vegetables can be grouped according to the edible part of each plant:
leaves (lettuce), stalks (celery), roots (carrot), tubers (potato),
bulbs (onion), and flowers (broccoli). In addition, fruits such as the
tomato and seeds such as the pea are commonly considered vegetables.
Fruit - mature ovary in flowering plants, together with all
inseparably connected parts of the flower. In strict botanical usage,
the meaning may be restricted to the ovary alone. Commonly the term
fruit is often restricted to succulent, edible fruits of woody plants,
to melons, and to such small fruits as strawberries and blueberries.
In nature, fruit is normally produced only after fertilization of
ovules has taken place, but in many plants, largely cultivated
varieties such as seedless citrus fruits, bananas, and cucumbers,
fruit matures without fertilization, a process known as
University of California: Vegetable Research & Information Center
Here's an interesting tidbit:
"In accordance with a US Supreme Court ruling in 1893, the difference
between a fruit and a vegetable is as follows: 'Any plant or part
thereof eaten during the main dish is a vegetable. If it is eaten at
any other part of the meal, it is a fruit.'"
Jason Webley: Interesting Facts About Vegetables...
"differences between" fruit vegetable
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