from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In botany, a stone-fruit; a fruit in which the outer part of the pericarp becomes fleshy or softens like a berry, while the inner hardens like a nut, forming a stone with a kernel, as the plum, cherry, apricot, and peach.
In some of the Indian islands it is called Popon-upas; in Java it is known as the Antijar. Its leaves are shaped like spear-heads; the fruit is a kind of drupe, clothed in fleshy scales.
Stone, or drupe, fruits, those with a single pit, are ripe when they yield slightly to the touch. They can be purchased when still quite firm and ripened at home, but peaches, nectarines and apricots should not be tinged with green.
Drupe fruit sounds like something that has passed its prime. But it refers to such succulent specimens as cherries, peaches and plums which ahve a soft, pulpy flesh and a woodlike pit.
‘Drupe’ comes from the Greek ‘druppa,’ olive, which is possibly an alteration of ‘drupepes,’ ripened on the tree.