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The outer layer of a blackberry is made up of little drupelets
A diagram of an aggregated fruit, showing drupelets

From drupe (stone fruit) +‎ -let (diminutive suffix). Compare Late Latin drupella (small ripe olive).[1]



drupelet (plural drupelets)

  1. (botany) One of the small drupe-like subdivisions which compose the outer layer of certain fruit such as blackberries or raspberries. [from mid 19th c.]
    Synonym: drupel
    It is best to pick the berries while all drupelets are of a consistent, dark red coloration.
    The passengers on the chock-full boat were packed across the deck like drupelets.
    • 1858, Asa Gray, “How Plants are Propagated or Multiplied in Numbers”, in Botany for Young People and Common Schools. How Plants Grow, a Simple Introduction to Structural Botany. [], New York, N.Y.: Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor, & Co., OCLC 505717616, section IV (Fruit and Seed), § 1 (Seed-vessels), paragraph 244, page 81:
      Aggregated Fruits are close clusters of simple fruits all of the same flower. The raspberry and blackberry are good examples. In these, each grain is a drupelet or stone-fruit, like a cherry or peach on a very small scale.
    • 1871, Asa Gray, “Of the Fruit”, in Introduction to Structural and Systematic Botany, and Vegetable Physiology, [], 5th revised edition, New York, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.: Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor, & Company, [], OCLC 18128009, section II (The Kinds of Fruit), paragraph 600, page 313:
      The raspberry and blackberry [...] are composed of a great number of miniature stone-fruits, or drupelets, as they might be called, in structure resembling cherries [...], aggregated upon an elongated receptacle.
    • 1931, A[lbert] S[pear] Hitchcock, “Fruits and Seeds”, in Field Work for the Local Botanist, Washington, D.C.: Published by the author []; composed and printed at the Waverley Press, Inc. [], OCLC 1131468420, page 22:
      The fruits of the genus Rubus (blackberry, raspberry) are aggregates of small drupes (drupelets) upon the receptacle of a single flower, each drupelet from a single pistil.
    • 1990, Harold A. Kantrud, “Development and Reproduction”, in Sago Pondweed (Potamogeton Pectinatus L.): A Literature Review (Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Publication; 176), Washington, D.C.: Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, ISSN 0163-4801, OCLC 21504880, page 8, column 2:
      In north temperate climates, the starchy drupelets of sago are usually mature by late July to late September. [...] Shortly after maturity, the drupelets fall to the bottom or float temporarily and wash ashore in windrows. [...] Drupelet germination occurs from late March to early summer in north temperate climates. Drupelets exposed for over a year on dry shorelines will germinate in as few as 4 days if wetted.
    • 1999, Helen J. Read; Mark Frater, “Management and Conservation”, in Woodland Habitats (Habitat Guides), London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, species box 3.2 (Bramble), page 77, column 1:
      The berry is better known as the blackberry and, depending on the variety can have just a single druplet (seed surrounded by black flesh) or up to twenty druplets.
    • 2003 July 9 (filing date), 2004 December 21 (patent date), Stephen M. Ackerman, Raspberry Plant Named ‘PS-1764’ (United States Plant Patent; no. US PP15,439 P3), columns 2 and 3:
      [column 2] This invention relates to a new and distinct everbearing variety of raspberry plant named 'PS-1764'. The new variety is primarily adapted to the growing conditions of the central coast of California and is characterized by the following. Fruit that is very large in size, light in color, glossy with very large druplets. [...] [column 3] 'PS-1764' fruit size, seed size and druplet size are much larger as compared to 'PS-127'.
    • 2017, Bernadine C. Strik, “Growth and Development”, in Harvey K. Hall and Richard C. Funt, editors, Blackberries and Their Hybrids (Crop Production Science in Horticulture; 26), Wallingford, Oxfordshire; Boston, Mass.: CABI, →ISBN, page 29:
      Each fertilized pistil/ovule will develop into a fleshy drupelet containing one seed (a pyrene). Erect and semi-erect blackberry cultivars produce fruit with relatively large pyrenes compared to those of trailing blackberries.

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  1. ^ drupelet, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1897; “drupelet, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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