The term fruit has different meanings dependent on context, and the term is not synonymous in food preparation and biology. In botany, which is the scientific study of plants, fruits are the ripened ovaries of flowering plants. In many plant species, the fruit includes the ripened ovary and surrounding tissues. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds, and the presence of seeds indicates that a structure is most likely a fruit, though not all seeds come from fruits.
No single terminology really fits the enormous variety that is found among plant fruits. The term 'false fruit' (pseudocarp, accessory fruit) is sometimes applied to a fruit like the fig (a multiple-accessory fruit; see below) or to a plant structure that resembles a fruit but is not derived from a flower or flowers. Some gymnosperms, such as yew, have fleshy arils that resemble fruits and some junipers have berry-like, fleshy cones. The term "fruit" has also been inaccurately applied to the seed-containing female cones of many conifers.
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