∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.31 ∞
Product of the post-fertilization maturation of a flower and representing a seed-disseminating plant organ.
Fruits consist of mature ovaries surrounding seeds, as well as additional portions of what had been the plant's flower.
As seed disseminating organs, fruits simply take on numerous phenotypes in response to numerous means by which they might 'hitch a ride' within the environment, whether in animals, on animals, in the air, or on the water. Thus, not all fruits are edible, and many are less obviously fruits, such as the winged fruits that maple trees produce, the shells that peanuts are found in, or the feathery fruits that dandelion flowers produce.
In short, a fruit is something that contains within it seeds and which is produced by the maturation of a flower, but there are a substantial number of variations on that concept.