AskDefine | Define drupe

Dictionary Definition

drupe n : fleshy indehiscent fruit with a single seed: e.g. almond; peach; plum; cherry; elderberry; olive; jujube [syn: stone fruit]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A stone fruit.

Derived terms


See stone fruit.



  1. Plural of drupa

Extensive Definition

In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part (exocarp, or skin; and mesocarp, or flesh) surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries. The definitive characteristic of a drupe is that the hard, lignified stone (or pit) is derived from the ovary wall of the flower.
Other fleshy fruits may have a stony enclosure that comes from the seed coat surrounding the seed. These fruits are not drupes.
Some flowering plants that produce drupes are coffee, jujube, mango, olive, most palms (including date, coconut and oil palms), pistachio and all members of the genus Prunus, including the almond (in which the mesocarp is somewhat leathery), apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, and plum.
The term stone fruit (also stonefruit can be a synonym for "drupe" or, more typically, it can mean just the fruit of the Prunus genus.
Drupes, with their sweet, fleshy outer layer, attract the attention of animals as a food, and the plant population benefits from the resulting dispersal of its seeds. The endocarp (pit or stone) is often swallowed, passing through the digestive tract, and returned to the soil in feces with the seed inside unharmed; sometimes it is dropped after the fleshy part is eaten.
Many stone fruits contain sorbitol, which can exacerbate conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and fructose malabsorption.
The coconut is also a drupe, but the mesocarp is fibrous or dry (in this case, called a husk), so this type of fruit is classified as a simple dry fruit, fibrous drupe. Unlike other drupes, the coconut seed is unlikely to be dispersed by being swallowed by fauna, due to its large size. It can, however, float extremely long distances across oceans.
In an aggregate fruit composed of small, individual drupes, each individual is termed a drupelet. Bramble fruits (such as the blackberry or the raspberry) are aggregates of drupelets. The fruit of blackberries and raspberries comes from a single flower whose pistil is made up of a number of free carpels. However, mulberries, which closely resemble blackberries, are not aggregate fruit, but are multiple fruits, actually derived from bunches of catkins, each drupelet thus belonging to a different flower.


drupe in Min Nan: He̍k-kó
drupe in Czech: peckovice
drupe in German: Steinfrucht
drupe in Spanish: Drupa
drupe in Esperanto: Drupo
drupe in French: Drupe
drupe in Hebrew: בית גלעין
drupe in Ido: Drupo
drupe in Italian: Drupa
drupe in Dutch: Steenvrucht
drupe in Japanese: 核果
drupe in Polish: Pestkowiec
drupe in Portuguese: Drupa
drupe in Swedish: Stenfrukt
drupe in Chinese: 核果
drupe in Russian: Костянка
drupe in Ukrainian: Сім'янка
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