Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pumpkin is not a vegetable!

Eat your vegies please!

If you are served pumpkin as your vegies - don't eat it! It is a fruit under proper classification. Just so you quite sure we're talking of the same item - here is a photo.

Pumpkin is a Fruit!
Yes! There are many different species of the pumpkin from the giant Queensland Blue to the smaller Butternut pumpkins. All of these have seeds inside - and is the seed bearing mature ovary of the flowering plant (vine in this case). Also tomatos, avocados, egg plants, cucumbers etc are all fruits. Many of the fruits are further broken down into berries (grapes & tomatoes), drupes (peaches,plums), pomes (pears, apples), aggregates (raspberries) and many others that are classified on their structure. For example a pea is a fruit also - but actually called a Legume - along with peanuts.

Then there are the nuts - another group of edible fruit that are often wrongly classified. The hazelnut and acorn are true nuts, while the almond is actully the seed of a stone fruit. Brazil nuts, cashews and pistachios are also not true nuts.

Confused? Well it gets even more complicated - watermelons and cucumbers are still fruit - but grouped as pepos.

Vegetables are mainly classified as Not Fruits - that is they have no seeds at all and can be any part of the plant. For example brocolli is just a bunch of tightly clustered immature flower heads, while carrots are just the swollen tap root of the plant and spinach is just the leaves and stalks.


  1. What about coconuts? Are they a nut?

    1. Well - the coconut is actually a drupe - very similar to the stone fruit - or a peach. The husky fibrous material on the outside of a coconut is equal to the fleshy body of the peach - only it is dried and rough to protect the inner seed ovary unit. Could be termed a dry drupe!

    2. Thanks for that! Great!