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Name: Ernest B.
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Saturday, July 06, 2002


Question:
Why is a tomato a fruit and not a vegetable? More generally, what is the difference between a vegetable and a fruit?


Replies:
Generally, a fleshy growth originating from a flower and carry seeds is considered a fruit. So a gourd or cucumber or pea pod is a fruit too.

A potato fails because it does not come from the flower and is part of the root, cabbage and spinach and is leaves and stems, etc.

Don Yee


Please refer to previous answers to this famous question:

http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~robsond/solutions/horticulture/docs/tomato.html

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutother/tomato

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question143.htm

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.


Botanically speaking, anything that bears seeds is a fruit. The fruit forms from the reproductive part of the plant, i.e., the flower. The ovary of the flower becomes the fruit and inside the seeds form. So a tomato comes from the flower and inside are the seeds. So it is a fruit. A nut is a seed and the shell is the fruit. Anything from a part of the plant that is not the flower is vegetative, i.e., does not reproduce. So leaves, stems and roots are vegetables. So lettuce, carrots and potatoes are vegetables.

Van Hoeck


A fruit is a seed bearing structure derived from the flower, and is not necessarily edible. A "vegetable" in human dietary terms, is any edible, non-seed bearing part of a plant.

J. Elliott



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