The fruit is a characteristic feature of the flowering plants. It is a mature or ripened ovary, developed after fertilisation. If a fruit is formed without fertilisation of the ovary, it is called a parthenocarpic fruit.

Generally, the fruit consists of a wall or pericarp and seeds. The pericarp may be dry or fleshy.  When pericarp is thick and fleshy, it is differentiated into the outer epicarp, the middle mesocarp and the inner endocarp.

In mango and coconut, the fruit is known as a drupe. They develop from monocarpellary superior ovaries and are one seeded. In mango the pericarp is well differentiated into an outer thin epicarp, a middle fleshy edible mesocarp and an inner stony hard endocarp. In coconut which is also a drupe, the mesocarp is fibrous.


The ovules after fertilisation, develop into seeds. A seed is made up of a seed coat and an embryo. The embryo is made up of a radicle, an embryonal axis and one (as in wheat, maize) or two cotyledons (as in gram and pea).

Structure of a Dicotyledonous Seed

The outermost covering of a seed is the seed coat. The seed coat has two layers, the outer testa and the inner tegmen. The hilum is a scar on the seed coat through which the developing seeds were attached to the fruit.

Above the hilum is a small pore called the micropyle. Within the seed coat is the embryo, consisting of an embryonal axis and two cotyledons. The cotyledons are often fleshy and full of reserve food materials. At the two ends of the embryonal axis are present the radicle and the plumule.

In some seeds such as castor the endosperm formed as a result of double fertilisation, is a food storing tissue and called endospermic seeds. In plants such as bean, gram and pea, the endosperm is not present in mature seeds and such seeds are called nonendospermous.

Structure of Monocotyledonous Seed

Generally, monocotyledonous seeds are endospermic but some as in orchids are non-endospermic. In the seeds of cereals such as maize the seed coat is membranous and generally fused with the fruit wall. The endosperm is bulky and stores food.

The outer covering of endosperm separates the embryo by a proteinous layer called aleurone layer. The embryo is small and situated in a groove at one end of the endosperm. It consists of one large and shield shaped cotyledon known as scutellum and a short axis with a plumule and a radicle. The plumule and radical are enclosed in sheaths which are called coleoptile and coleorhizae respectively.


Various morphological features are used to describe a flowering plant. The description has to be brief, in a simple and scientific language and presented in a proper sequence. The plant is described beginning with its habit, vegetative characters – roots, stem and leaves and then floral characters inflorescence and flower parts.

After describing various parts of plant, a floral diagram and a floral formula are presented. The floral formula is represented by some symbols. In the floral formula, Br stands for bracteate K stands for calyx , C for corolla, P for perianth, A for androecium and G for Gynoecium, G for superior ovary and  for inferior ovary, ♂ for male,♀ for female, for bisexual plants, ⨁ for actinomorphic and % for zygomorphic nature of flower.

Fusion is indicated by enclosing the figure within bracket and adhesion by a line drawn above the symbols of the floral parts. A floral diagram provides information about the number of parts of a flower, their arrangement and the relation they have with one another.

The position of the mother axis with respect to the flower is represented by a dot on the top of the floral diagram. Calyx, corolla, androecium and gynoecium are drawn in successive whorls, calyx being the outermost and the gynoecium being in the centre. Floral formula also shows cohesion and adhesion within parts of whorls and between whorls.

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