The name fruit has many different meanings depending on context. In botany, a fruit is the mature ovary—together with seeds— of a flowering plant. In many species, the fruit incorporates the ripened ovary and the nearby tissues. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants spread seeds.
In cooking, when food items are called "fruit", the term is most often used for those plant fruits that are edible and sweet and fleshy, examples of which include plums, apples and oranges. But in cuisine, the word fruit may also rarely be loosely applied to other parts of a plant, such as the stems of rhubarb, which are made into sweet pies, but which are not botanically a fruit at all.