Most plants have fruits. The fruit is the part of the plant that contain the seeds. Plants use the fruits to spread the seeds. For example a bird that eats a cherry will drop the seed at some distance from the tree. Then another cherry tree can start growing there.
There are many types of fruits in the world. Almost all plants that grow in your garden or in nature have fruits. For example a bean is a fruit, but also an acorn is a fruit. However, usually when we talk about fruits we mean fruits that are sweet and fleshy; the types that we eat as a snack or as a dessert. That's the type of fruits we will discuss on this page.
In this site we introduce many fruits. Some are tropical fruits, while others are temperate fruits that grow in cooler climates. To make it easier the fruits are presented in alphabetical order from Apple to Watermelon. Before reading the list, ask yourself how many fruits you know?
Some fruit have more than one name. Therefore an alphabetical list of English fruit names with their synonyms is included at the bottom of this page. Just click on a name to jump to the fruit.
If you cannot find the fruit you were looking for, please look in the World Crops Database which has many more fruits and their names in several languages. Or send me a message. You may also be interested to see my collection of quotes and proverbs about fruits.
Click on a picture to see more information and photos in the World Crops Database.
Apples are among the most popular fruits in the world. They usually grow in cooler climates. The word "apple" is also used in the names of other fruits, such as pineapple and custardapple, but these are not real apples. A famous saying is "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", because apples and many other fruits are good for your health. Apples play an important part in some fairytales, for example the poisoned apple that was given to Snow White. And the "forbidden fruit" in the garden of Eden was perhaps also an apple.
Apricots are sweet bright fruits with a bright orange color. They originate from China where they were already known 5000 years ago. Now, many apricots are grown in southern Europe and central Asia. It is said to be good luck to dream of apricots. In Limburg (a province in the south of Netherlands) apricots are used to make a delicious pastry: apricots vlaai.
The Asian Palmyra palm or Toddy palm produces fruits that resemble coconuts. This palm is also used to tap juice from its inflorescences, which can be used to make sugar. Some other names used for this palm tree are Sugar palm and Cambodian palm.
Avocado is a very nutritious tropical fruit. Is is not sweet like many other fruits and usually it is eaten in salads for example in combination with tuna fish. Many people would therefore call it a vegetable. Some other names for avocado are:
Avocado pear, Butter pear, Alligator pear and Midshipman's butter.
Bael is a tropical fruit. It is also know as Wood apple, Beli fruit, Bilva, Bilwa and Stone apple. From some of these names you can already imagine that it is a fruit with a very hard woody surface. It is not very tasty. Sometimes fruits are sliced and dried. These dried slices are then boiled with sugar in water to make a drink.
Bananas are well known tropical fruits. But many people believe mistakenly that bananas grow on banana trees. While a banana plant may look like a tree it is actually not a tree but a herbaceous plant with a soft stem that looks like the trunk of a tree. The sweet bananas we all know are also called Dessert bananas.
Another type of banana is the Plantain, which is very similar to bananas but generally used for cooking as it is firmer and contains less sugar than the dessert banana.
Blackberries are temperate fruits. The fruit is not a true berry but an aggregate fruit, composed of many small drupelets (small fruits). Blackberries are often growing wild in forest areas.
Breadfruits are tropical fruits. The big fruits, which grow on beautiful trees, are often cooked, boiled, roasted or fried. Breadfruit is used rather as a vegetable and in some countries (Polynesia) as a staple food.
Canistel is a relatively unknown fruit originating from Central America. Other names for canistel are Egg-fruit and Yellow sapote.
Cherries are known for their bright red color. Most cherries are sweet, but there are also varieties that have a very sour taste. They grow in temperate climates.
Mon Cheri is a brand name for a sweet made of a cherry fruit and liquor covered in chocolate. But "Mon Chéri" is actually a French expression for "My Darling".
Cherry plum is a small plum which looks like a cherry. It belongs to the genus Prunus, just like the cherry and the plum. Cherry plum is also known as Myrobalan plum.
Coconut or coco is the fruit of the coconut palm. The coconut palm grows in all tropical areas. Not only the fruits are used, but also stems and leaves are used for many purposes such as furniture, mats or for thatching roofs. It's a beautiful palm, often grown as decoration. Without it a tropical beach would not be the same.
A cup of coffee actually starts with the fruits of the coffee plant. Coffee usually grows in slightly shaded places in cooler areas in the tropics, often on the slopes of mountains or volcanoes. The bright red fruits contain two seeds, which are roasted and then used to prepare coffee.
Custard apple is also known as Wild sweetsop and it has some other names that refer to its shape: Bullock's heart, Bull's heart and Ox heart.
Dates grow on date palms in warm and dry areas. The ripe date fruits have a very high sugar content of about 80%. The highest production of dates is in Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Dragonfruit is the fruit of a cactus which blooms at night. It is also known as Pitaya or Pitahaya and strangely enough as Strawberry pear. It grows in the tropics.
Durian is famous for its smell; its very bad smell. In Thailand many hotels have signboards showing that it is forbidden to take this fruit in the hotel. But many Thai love to eat and and therefore call it the "king of fruits".
Durian fruits are big, heavy and with strong sharp spines. People often worry about a coconut falling on their head, but a durian on your head would do even more damage.
Grapes are very popular fruits. They are eaten as fresh fruits or they are used to make wine. Famous wine producing countries in the world include France, Italy, Spain, Australia, South Africa and Chili. Red wine is made from purple grapes and white wine is made from "white grapes" which are actually light green.
Grapefruits are not related to grapes but to oranges. In fact, a grapefruit is a hybrid between a sweet orange and a pomelo. They are usually yellow and have a rather bitter taste.
Guavas are very common fruits in many tropical countries. There are different varieties, some green, other reddish in color. The flesh inside is rather hard, like an apple and often white or a bit pinkish in color. Often the fruits contain many hard seeds, but seedless varieties exist as well.
Jackfruit is one of the biggests fruits in the world. It is a tropical fruit and it's known as the national fruit of Bangladesh.
The pulp of jackfruit is sweet; it tastes a bit like banana or pineapple, but with a stronger fruity aroma.
Jujube is a tropical fruit which looks and tastes like small apples. Jujube trees are very productive and in the fruiting season they are often found bearing hundreds of fruits. There is a lot of variation in color, size, shape and taste between the different Jujube varieties. Other names for Jujube are Red Date or Chinese Date.
Kiwifruit or Kiwi is a woody vine which produce fuzzy brown egg-shaped fruits with green flesh. It grows best in a temperate climate with sufficient summer heat. It is no surprise that New Zealand is an important producer of Kiwi fruits. Other names for the Kiwi fruit are Chinese Gooseberry, Vine pear, Wood berry.
Longan is a tropical fruit. In the fruiting season the longan trees are a spectacular sight with their thousands of round ping-pong ball sized fruits. Longan is also called Lamyai (in Thailand) or Dragon's eye. It got the name Dragon's eye because when it is pealed the fruit looks like an eyeball and the black seed inside shows through the flesh like a pupil.
Longkong is a tropical fruit which looks a bit similar the the Longan, with many ping pong ball sized fruits growing together in big clusters. Longkong and Langsat are the same species of fruit trees, but with slightly different fruits.
Lychee trees grow in the tropics and produce very tasty and beautiful looking fruits. Unfortunately they do this only during a very short time, but canned lychee fruits are available throughout the year. The name of this fruit is sometimes written as Litchi, Laichi, or Linchee.
Mafai is a rather unknown tropical fruit, sometimes called Burmese grape. It produces many small round fruits.
Mango is probably the most popular tropical fruit in the world. Some people call it therefore the "apple of the tropics". There are hundreds of varieties of the mango, all with their own specific taste. Mangoes are often eaten when they are ripe, sweet and juicy, but sometimes they are eaten when they are still green, hard and rather sour. In Thailand a famous and very tasty snack is "mango with sticky rice".
Mangosteen is a very pretty and tasty tropical fruit with a fresh sweet and sour taste. In Thailand it is called the "Queen of fruits" (while Durian is called "King of fruits") and it really deserves this title. Despite its name, it is not related to mango.
Maprang is a rather unknown tropical fruit. It looks a bit like a very small mango. Some other names for Maprang include Marian plum, Gandaria, Marian mango and Plum mango.
The orange is a member of the Citrus family. It is a very popular fruit, usually eaten fresh as a snack or dessert, or squeezed to make orange juice. Many different varieties of oranges exist, each with their own taste and often different appearance and color. Oranges grow best in sub tropical climates.
Most olives are produced in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea (Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, etc.). Olive trees can grow in very dry climates. The fruits are fermented and then eaten as a snack. Most olives are used to produce olive oil, which is considered more healthy than most other edible oils.
Papaya is a small tropical tree found in many home gardens throughout the tropics. The soft orange or reddish flesh is usually served during breakfast or as a dessert. Several papaya varieties exist, producing fruits with different taste, size and color. Other names for papaya are Pawpaw, Papaw and Tree melon.
Passion fruits grow in the tropics on a climbing plant which is known for its beautiful flowers. The fruits are very tasty and are often used in soft drinks or to prepare cocktails. There are two types of passion fruit: purple and yellow.
Peaches are temperate fruits. The peach tree requires a chilling winter season. They are best known for their soft velvety skin. Ripe peaches can be very juicy and have a sweet aromatic taste.
Pears are temperate fruits that are usually recognized by their "pear-shape". However, the pear is a close relative of the apple and some of the rounder pears can be easily confused with apples. A famous proverb is: "You can't compare apples with pears".
A pineapple is a tropical plant. The fruit of the pineapple is actually many fruits merged together, which looks like one fruit. Pineapples are best when eaten fresh. They are also sold in cans or as pineapple juice. Some other names that are used for pineapple are Ananas, Nanas and Pina (or Piña).
The plum is a temperate fruit, sometimes called a Prune. When mature the plum fruits have sometimes a dusty-white coating which gives a bluish-grey appearance. This is a wax coating known as "wax bloom" which can easily be rubbed off.
Pomegranate is a subtropical fruit. It is often used to make juices which are sweet or sour depending on the variety. Pomegranate is sometimes called Apple of Grenada, but the name pomegranate actually originates from Latin and means seeded apple (pomum=apple, granatus=seeded).
Pomelo is a tropical fruit and the largest of all citrus fruits. It has a very thick rind and is filled with a sweetish yellow or pink flesh. Several other names that are sometimes used for the Pomelo are
Pummelo, Chinese grapefruit, Pommelo and Shaddock.
Rambutan is a tropical fruit. It can be easily recognized as the fruits have a bright color and are covered with soft spines.
Red currants are bright red juicy fruits, which grow in groups of about ten together. They are actually the same species as “white currants”; the only difference is the color.
Roselle plants are often grown for the fibers in their stems. But the red fleshy calyces of the flowers can be used as a 'fruit' to make tea or a tasty soft drink with a sour fruity taste.
Santol is also known as Wild mangosteen or Sandorica. It's a tropical tree that originates in southeast Asia.
Sapodilla is a tropical fruit which looks a bit like a potato but it tastes much better. The sweet flesh has a pale yellowish to earth brown color with a grainy texture like a pear. Other names for this fruit are
Chiku fruit and Sapota.
Sour cherry is a temperate fruit, similar to sweet cherry, but with a very acidic taste.
Soursop is a tropical fruit, closely related to the custard apple but with a more sour taste. Other names for this fruit are Brazilian pawpaw and Prickly custard apple
Star apple is a rather unknown tropical fruit. It's a beautiful tree which is also called Golden leaf tree as the leaves are golden brown on the underside. The name star apple becomes clear after cutting the fruit in half as the pulp inside looks like a star. Sometimes the tree is called Apple star.
Starfruit is a tropical tree, also known with the name Carambola. The fruits have wings and when cut in half the shape looks like a five pointed star. Several varieties exist, some sweet and others more sour in taste.
Strawberries are temperate fruits, but are sometimes grown in cooler hill areas in the tropics. Most people will prefer to eat them fresh (with cream of course) but strawberries are also processed to make jams and sauces.
Sugarapple is a tropical fruit, which is also called Sweetsop. It is closely related to Soursop and it doesn't require much imagination to imagine the difference in taste. In Vietnam it used to be an asset to have "teeth as sugar apple seeds", which is more difficult to imagine as these seeds are black.
Tamarind has fruits that can be sweet our sour, depending on the variety. It grows in most tropical areas. According to a legend you will get strange dreams if you sleep under a flowering tamarind tree.
Tangerine is a tropical fruit belonging to the Citrus family. Many different varieties of Tangerine exist, all with different color and taste. Some varieties are known as Tangerine while others are called Mandarins. Sometimes these two names are mixed.
Velvet apple is a tropical fruit with a red velvet skin, about the same size as an apple. It is related to the ebony tree. Another name for this fruit is Mabolo.
Watermelons consist for a big part of water. The watermelon is one of the biggest fruits, with fruits often weighing several kilos. The biggest watermelon ever found was 122 kilos.
Alphabetical list of fruit names
Alligator pear | Ananas | Apple | Apple star | Apricot | Asian Palmyra palm | Avocado | Avocado pear | Bael | Banana | Beli fruit | Bilva | Bilwa | Blackberry | Bramble | Bramble raspberry | Brazilian pawpaw | Breadfruit | Bull's heart | Bullock's heart | Burmese grape | Butter pear | Cambodian palm | Canistel | Carambola | Cherry | Cherry plum | Chiku fruit | Chinese apple | Chinese date | Chinese gooseberry | Chinese grapefruit | Coco | Coconut | Coffee | Custardapple | Date | Date palm | Dessert banana | Dragonfruit | Durian | Egg-fruit | Fig | Gandaria | Goldenleaf tree | Grape | Grapefruit | Guava | Jackfruit | Jujube | Kiwifruit | Laichi | Linchee | Litchi | Longan | Longkong | Lychee | Mabolo | Mafai | Mandarin | Mango | Mangosteen | Marian mango | Marian plum | Maprang | Midshipman's butter | Myrobalan plum | Olive | Orange | Ox heart | Papaw | Papaya | Pawpaw | Passionfruit | Peach | Pear | Pina | Pineapple | Pitaya | Pitahaya | Plantain | Plum | Plum mango | Pomegranate | Pomelo | Pommelo | Pummelo | Prickly custard apple | Prune | Rambutan | Raspberry | Red currant | Red date | Roselle | Sandorica | Santol | Sapodilla | Sapota | Shaddock | Sour cherry | Soursop | Starapple | Starfruit | Stone apple | Strawberry | Strawberry pear | Sugar palm | Sugarapple | Sweetsop | Sweet orange | Tamarind | Tangerine | Toddy palm | Tree melon | Velvet apple | Vine pear | Watermelon | Wild mangosteen | Wild sweetsop | Wood apple | Wood berry | Yellow sapote
All these fruits and many more agricultural crops can now be found if the World Crops Database.