Last Updated: February 3, 2017

Definition - What does Berry mean?

A berry is a small, pulpy, and sometimes edible fruit that may be produced on a bush, vine, or tree and does not have a pit. Some examples would include raspberry, blueberry, or strawberry.

Some berries are cultivated as a commercial crop, while others such as gooseberries mainly grow in wild forests.

MaximumYield explains Berry

Many berries are edible, but others such as nightshade or pokeweed are not. Berries like white or red mulberry and elderberry are poisonous when unripe, but are not as they ripen.

Although still edible, some berries like gooseberry or chokeberry are far more palatable when cooked or boiled down. Most often they are excellent choices for jams, pies, or jellies.

In horticultural science, the term “berry” has a different meaning. In science it is considered to be when the outer wall of an ovary of a single flower reproduces. In this context fruits such as grapes or bananas are considered to be a berry.

Many berries attract birds and mammals, which consume the berries and carry their seeds to further locations. This helps berries expand their territory.

Berries have almost always been an important food source for humans, even before the beginning of agriculture, and remain a main food source for primates.

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