Which of these fruits are NOT berries: strawberry, blackberry, banana, tomato, and blueberry? The strawberry and the blackberry! A berry is any fruit that grows from one flower and has just one “ovary” to hold seeds. On a strawberry, all those tiny yellow dots are ovaries, so strawberries don’t count. And a blackberry is a cluster of “drupelets” that hold seeds. Meanwhile, tomatoes, avocados, bananas and pumpkins are berries because they grow from flowers. Just don’t put them all in your fruit salad!

*Wee ones:* If you nibble on a blackberry, a tomato, a banana and a blueberry, how many real berries are you nibbling?

*Little kids:* A strawberry has about 200 seeds on the outside! If you bite off 1/2 of them, how many seeds are left? *Bonus:* How many seeds are on 10 strawberries?

*Big kids:* If you eat a raspberry that has 37 drupelets and a blackberry with 54 drupelets, how many more drupelets does the blackberry have? *Bonus:* If you eat 10 of each, how many juicy drupelets do they have altogether?

*The sky’s the limit:* If you have a handful of raspberries, each with 36 drupelets, and strawberries each with 200 seeds, and the number of strawberries is 1/5 the number of raspberries and there are 80 more seeds than drupelets, how many of each do you have?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 3 real berries.

*Little kids:* 100 seeds. *Bonus:* 2,000 seeds.

*Big kids:* 17 more drupelets. *Bonus:* 910 drupelets.

*The sky’s the limit:* You have 4 strawberries and 20 raspberries. To solve with algebra, if there are s strawberries and r raspberries:

5s = r (relation between number of each)

200s = 36r + 80

Substituting 5s for r, we get

200s = 36 (5s) + 80

200s = 180s + 80

20s = 80

s = 4

That gives us 4 strawberries and 5 times that many raspberries (20). To check, the 20 raspberries will have 720 drupelets, and the strawberries will have 800 seeds, which is 80 more.