why is maize grain usually called as a fruit and not a seed?

The maize (corn) grain is a cereal grass. The part we use for food is the caryopsis, a type of fruit.

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The maize grain is a fruit in botany and that is for certain.

Now let us see how it confirms to the definition of caryopsis. It is a clear botanical term used in the fruit morphology.

1) Caryopsis is a simple , dry , indehiscent fruit that develops from a superior ovary of a monocarpellary gynoecium
Maize shows all these features as it IS a dry fruit and does not break open automatically on its own so INDEHISCENT fruit. It has a simple flower with a single carpel so MONOCARPELLARY gynoecium.

2) In addition to the above mentioned features. In Maize the TESTA ( seed coat or the wall of the seed ) is inseparably fused with the PERICARP ( wall of the fruit ).
It is called HULL.This is the qualifying character of
CARYOPSIS. This hull shows a tiny scar at the top indicating that the grain is in fact a fruit and not seed.

I hope this will clear your doubt.

All plants that are commonly called 'cereals' belong to Grass family or Poaceae family ( old name Gramineae family)
and they show caryopsis fruit. All of them have endospermic seed and many are invaluable for man.

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 Thank u.....

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The maize grains are called as a fruit and not a seed because it comes from a separate ripened ovary within the grass inflorescence. In case of maize, the grain has a pericarp of the fruit fused with the seed coat.
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