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matured ovary of the pistil of a flower, containing the seed. After the egg nucleus, or ovum, has been fertilized (see fertilization) and the embryo plantlet begins to form, the surrounding ovule (see pistil) develops into a seed and the ovary wall (pericarp) around the
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Berry(bĕrē`), former province, central France. Bourges, the capital, and Châteauroux are the chief towns. Cattle are raised on the Champagne Berrichonne, a semiarid plateau that covers most of the region. The valleys of the Indre and the Cher rivers are rich farming areas. A part of Roman Aquitaine, Berry was made a county in the 8th cent., and was purchased (1101) by the French crown. In 1360 it was made a duchy. It was held as an appanage by various royal princes until 1601, when it reverted to the crown.
an indehiscent, usually many-seeded fruit. Unlike what occurs in an apple, all of the layers of a berry’s pericarp become succulent at the time of maturation. The seeds have a thick skin that protects the embryo from damage while passing through the digestive tract of animals. The berries of many plants (cranberry, red whortleberry, bilberry, grapes) are used in foods, and some (bilberry) are used medicinally. The berries of some plants (European bitter-sweet, honeysuckle) are poisonous. The fruits of the strawberry, raspberry, fig, and other plants are frequently incorrectly referred to as berries.