Berries have been a part of natural medicine and in culinary use for centuries. Early on herbalists discovered the benefits of using hawthorn berries, goji berries and juniper berries for the support of general health in the body. Berries pack a powerful nutritional punch. Many are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other health benefiting compounds.
Berries are a small pulpy fruit that is produced from a single ovary of a flower, contains many seeds and has a soft outer skin. They are often edible (although some are poisonous), juicy, rounded and brightly colored. Flavors can range from sweet to sour. Examples of berries include strawberries, goji berries, blueberries, hawthorn berries, lycium berry, schisandra berries, and raspberries. Other fruits that are considered berries are grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, (Cucumbers are classified as epigynous berries or false berries, as they develop from an inferior ovary), and eggplant. Berries with a hard or thick rind are called Pepo. Examples of these are watermelon, pumpkins and cantaloupe.
Parts of Berries
Calyx – The outer part of the flower formed by the sepals (the outer leaves of a bud)
Exocarp – The outer protective skin. In true berries the skin is soft.
Seeds – Are located in the flesh of the berry. In most berries the seed are located in mesocarp, but in strawberries they are in the exocarp.
Mesocarp – The inner flesh (pulp) of the berry
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