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Epigynous Berry


Lingonberries are often used in jams and preserves.  They are an epigynous berry.

Lingonberries are an epigynous berry related to the blueberry.

Image by ratexla via Flickr

An epigynous berry is a type of fruit that has an ovary that is inferior (the ovary sits below the rest of the flower parts), which is different than a true berry. As the ovary ripens, other parts like the petals or sepals will stay attached and ripen along with it. For example, if you look at the end of a blueberry, you will see the small sepals.

Examples include:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Lingonberries
  • Melons and gourds(these are a special kind called a pepo)

Also not true berries:

  • Blackberries (aggregate drupes)
  • Raspberries (aggregate drupes)
  • Strawberries (accessory - true fruit is the seed, called an achene)

For reference, examples of true berries include:

  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
Also Known As: False berry
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