Strawberries and Raspberries Aren’t Berries; You Won’t Guess Which Fruit Is
© Andrej Filonenko - Dreamstime.com

Strawberries Aren’t Berries — But These Other Fruits Are

Names can be misleading
Strawberries and Raspberries Aren’t Berries; You Won’t Guess Which Fruit Is
© Andrej Filonenko - Dreamstime.com

Good for your heart and good for your mind, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries add color to your plate and brighten up your day. Yet, in a botanical sense, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are not actually berries. 

United States of Food: Official State Foods

To understand the discrepancy, here's what makes a fruit a fruit in the first place. Fruits are the edible reproductive body of a seed plant. They grow on a plant from the ovary and aid in getting its seeds out into the world. 

Unlike berries, which are simple fruits stemming from one flower with a single ovary, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are derived from one flower with more than one ovary. Therefore, they are aggregate fruits, not berries.

In addition to being “simple,” berries generally contain multiple seeds wrapped in a thin membrane surrounded by a fleshy pulp. By this definition, a banana counts as a berry, one with easy-to-miss seeds and a resourceful peel.

Using those rules, tomatoes, kiwis and pomegranates are also berries. An avocado is a berry too, just one with a single seed. Blueberries, an excellent weight-loss food, are still berries. 

Related

Botany, the science that determines whether a food is a fruit or a vegetable, is tricky and can leave you scratching your head. Check out which “vegetables” are actually fruit and other common foods that aren't what you think.