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The Botanical Review

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 53–72 | Cite as

Confusion between multiple and aggregate fruits

  • Richard W. Spjut
  • John W. Thieret
Article

Abstract

The definitions of aggregate and multiple fruits, and the classification of these fruits, are reviewed chronologically, beginning in 1751 with Linnaeus’Philosophia botanica. In 1788, Joseph Gaertner defined a multiple fruit as one derived from many ovaries in a single flower, and a compound fruit as one derived from many ovaries of many flowers; in 1813, Augustin de Candolle referred to Gaertner’s compound fruits as aggregate fruits. Gaertner’s 1788 definition of multiple and de Candolle’s 1813 definition of aggregate (compound) fruits have been employed in non-English botanical textbooks for nearly two centuries, but equivalent English books currently give opposite meanings for these terms. We have traced the modern English definitions of aggregate and multiple fruits to John Lindley’s 1832Introduction to botany. The long history of confusion over the meanings of multiple and aggregate (compound) fruits is only one example of a need to stabilize descriptive fruit terminology; in such cases where an established meaning is not clear we suggest that priority be applied—i.e., application of those terms follow Gaertner. Since classification of fruits is in chaos, we urge authors to reference their use of fruit terminology to an authoritative source.

Keywords

Botanical Review Single Flower Fruit Type Collective Fruit Established Meaning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Résumé

Les définitions des fruits agrégés (composés) et multiples, et la classification de ces fruits, sont revues chronologiquement, depuis 1751 avec laPhilosophia botanica de Linné. En 1788, Joseph Gaertner définit un fruit multiple comme un fruit dérivant de plusieurs ovaries d’une seule fleur, et un fruit composé comme un fruit dérivant de plusieurs ovaires de plusieurs fleurs; en 1813, Augustin de Candolle fait référence aux fruits composés de Gaertner sous le nom de fruits agrégés. Les définitions des fruits multiples de Gaertner (1788) et des fruits composés de de Candolle (1813) ont été employées dans les manuels de botanique non-anglais pendant presque deux siècles, mais les équivalents anglais donnent actuellement à ces termes de sens inversés. Nous avons recherché la trace des définitions anglaises modernes des fruits composés et multiples jusqu’ à l’Introductionto botany de John Lindley (1832). La longue histoire de la confusion des sens des fruits multiples et composés n’est qu’ un exemple de la nécessité de stabiliser la terminologie descriptive des fruits; dans de tels cas où l’usage n’est pas clair nous suggérons d’appliquer un principe de priorité—i.e., d’utilise ces termes au sens de Gaertner. La classification des fruits étant très chaotique, nous demandons que les auteurs fasse référence à un systeme quand ils appliquent une terminologie aux fruits.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Spjut
    • 1
  • John W. Thieret
    • 2
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Service Systematic Botany, Mycology, and Nematology LaboratoryUSDABeltsville
  2. 2.Biological SciencesNorthern Kentucky UniversityHighland Heights

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