Nut (fruit)

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This article should be merged with nut.

A nut can be either a seed or a fruit.

Botanical definitions

A nut in botany is a simple dry fruit with one seed (rarely two) in which the ovary wall becomes very hard (stony or woody) at maturity, and where the seed remains unattached or unfused with the ovary wall. Most nuts come from pistils with inferior ovaries (see flower) and all are indehiscent (not opening at maturity). True nuts are produced, for example, by some plants — families of the order Fagales.

Order Fagales
Korean Pine pine nuts — unshelled, and shell, above; shelled, below

A nut in cuisine is a much less restrictive category than a nut in botany, as the term is applied (or misapplied, depending upon the viewpoint) to many seeds that are not true nuts. Any large, oily kernel found within a shell and used in food may be regarded as a nut.

Some fruits and seeds that are nuts in the culinary sense but not in the botanical sense:

See also: List of edible seeds



Kellogg, John H. "Nuts May Save the Race." The Itinerary of Breakfast. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1920. 165–203.

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