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 or pyrene) 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, but such 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, damson, nectarine, peach, and plum.
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.
Corking is a nutritional disorder in stone fruit caused by a lack of boron and/or calcium.
Many stone fruits contain sorbitol, which can exacerbate conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and fructose malabsorption.
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.
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