Classification of Horticultural crops

Classification of Horticultural crops

Classification of Horticultural crops

Horticultural crops having many species which are grown all over India. India endowed with rich vegetational wealth. Encompassing 356 domesticated species of the economic importance and 326 species of their wild forms or relatives. Indian subcontinent enjoys rich diversity of plant wealth besides; about 9,500 other species of ethanobotanical interest have also been recorded.

Out of these more than 50 types of individuals types of species, plantation crops, etc. are under commercial cultivation in different part of the country under different sets of growing conditions. An attempt to deal with all these plants separately becomes tedious, cumbersome and infeasible and more so repetitive. To avoid these difficulties it is better to classify the plants in groups based on similarity in either of the traits are placed under one group. Such type of grouping of plants in different categories is referred to as classification. To overall objectives of the classification is to systemize the presentation and make the remembrance of the plants easy and convenient.

Classification: Classification of plants means the grouping of different plants has some characteristics in common. Classification of plants is a relatively dynamic process and undergoes change with
change or increase in knowledge.

Purpose of classification: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

a) For easy and quick cultural operations.
b) For breeding purpose and to evolve new varieties.
c) For facilitating propagation of crops.
d) For effective control of pest and diseases.
e) For cultivating crops suitable to different climatic conditions.

Horticultural plants are classified on following basis: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

1) On the basis of duration of life/life span.
2) On the basis of climatic requirements.
3) On the basis of growth habit and physiological characters.
4) On the basis of plant parts used for consumption.
5) On the basis of whether leaves are shed during the year.
6) On the basis of longevity.
7) Botanical classification.

1) On the basis of duration of life/life span: The horticultural crops on the basis of
duration of life are classified as; (Classification of Horticultural crops)

a) Annuals: Plants which complete their life cycle in one season or one year are called as annuals. e.g. Tomato, Balsam, Marigold etc.

b) Biennials: Plants which complete their life cycle in two seasons or two years are known as biennials. e.g. Onion, Cabbage, Tuberose etc.

c) Perennials: Plants which require more than two years to complete their life cycle are called perennials. The perennials necessarily do not die after flowering.

i. Woody perennials: These plants have hard and fibrous trunk and branches. e.g. Bahuma sp., Mango etc.

ii. Herbaceous perennials: These plants have soft succulent stems. e.g. Banana, Chrysanthemum etc.

2) On the basis of climatic requirements: (Classification of Horticultural crops)


a) Temperate Horticultural crops: In temperate regions, the temperature in winter season falls below freezing point. The crops shed their leaves and go into rest. These chilling temperatures help the plants to put forth new growth. Flowering and fruiting starts with the onset of spring. e.g.,

Fruits: Apple, Pear, Almond, Walnut etc.

Spices: Saffron, Kalajira, Asafoetida etc.

Vegetables: Cabbage, Cauliflower, European varieties of carrot and radish. These vegetables can be grown in sub-tropical regions, however they require temperate climate for seed production.

b) Sub-tropical Horticultural crops: In sub-tropical climate, the summer are hot and
dry and winter are less mild. e.g.,

Fruits: Citrus, Guava, Pomegranate, Fig etc.
Spices: Turmeric, Ginger, Onion, Garlic etc.
Vegetables: Tomato, Brinjal, Chilli, Okra, Potato etc.

c) Tropical Horticultural crops: The climatic conditions in such areas are hot and
humid in summer and mild in winter. e.g.,

Fruits: Mango, Banana, Pineapple, Sapota etc.
Spices: Black pepper, Turmeric, Ginger, Cloves etc.
Plantation crops: Coconut, Arecanut, Cocoa etc.
Vegetables: Tomato, Brinjal, Chilli, Onion etc.

3) On the basis of growth habit and physiological characters: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

a) Trees: Trees are the plants which have a distinct stem or trunk which may be woody or herbaceous.

i) Woody trees: These plants have hard and fibrous trunks and branches. e.g. Apple, Citrus, Guava, Mango etc.

ii) Herbaceous trees: These have soft succulent stems.

Herbaceous trees (upright growth): e.g. Banana, Pineapple.
Herbaceous trees (postrate growth): e.g. Strawberry.

b) Shrubs / bushes: Shrubs or bushes produce a large number of branches and are smaller in size than trees. e.g.

Fruits: Phalsa, Coffee etc.

Ornamental shrubs: Acalypha etc.

c) Climbers: These plants attach themselves to supports such as trellis, arches or lives plants. e.g.

Fruits: Grapes, Passion fruit etc.

Spices: Black pepper (live support) etc.

Ornamental climbers: Allamanda, Antigonan etc.

4) On the basis of plant parts used for consumption: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

a) Fruits: (Name Edible Part)

1. Apple (Pome)= Fleshy thalamus

2. Banana (Berry)= Mesocarp and endocarp

3. Cashew nut (nut)= Peduncle and cotyledons

4. Coconut (Fibrous drupe)= Endosperm

5. Custard apple (Etaerio of berries) =Fleshy pericarp of individual berries

6. Fig (Syconus) =Fleshy receptacle

7. Guava (Berry) =Thalamus and pericarp

8. Grape (Berry) =Pericarp and placentae

9. Mango (Drupe) =Mesocarp

10. Orange (Hesperidium) =Juicy placental hair

11. Papaya (Berry) =Mesocarp

12. Pineapple (Sorosis) =Fleshy thalamus

13. Pomegranate (Pome)= Aril

b) Plantation crops and spices: (Name Edible Part)

1. Coconut (Fibrous drupe) =Endosperm

2. Arecanut (one-seeded ovoid drupe) =Seed (Fresh and dried)

3. Cocoa (5-ribbed drupe) =Beans (Seeds)

4. Coffee (Fleshy Drupe)= Seed (Bean)

5. Black pepper (One-seeded spherical dupe) =Dried wrinkled fruit

6. Clove (Fleshy drupe)= Unopened flower bud

7. Cinnamon (Fleshy berry) =Bark

8. Chilli (berry)= Fruit and seeds

9. Turmeric =Rhizome

10. Ginger (Capsule) =Rhizome

11. Onion =Leaves and Bulb

12. Garlic =Cloves

c) Vegetables: (Name Edible Part)

1. Radish, Carrot, Turnip, Beetroot, Sweet potato= Roots

2. Knolkhol, Potato =Stem

3. Palak, Methi, Amaranthus =Leaf

4. Cauliflower, Broccoli =Flower

5. Tomato, Brinjal, Okra, Cucurbits =Fruit

6. Beans and Pea =Pod

7. Onion =Blub

5) On the basis of weather leaves are shed during the year: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

a) Deciduous: the plants that are leafless or which shed their leaves during winter are referred to as deciduous. e.g. Apple, Fig, Grape etc.

b) Evergreen: The plants whose leaves persist the year round or grow continuously all the year round are known as evergreen. The evergreens actually loose their leaves annually but not until a new set of
leaves is developed. e.g. Arecanut, Coconut, Banana, Mango, Sapota etc.

6) On the basis of longevity: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

The longevity of trees is very variable and plants can be classified on the basis as under;

Life span : Plants

a) 1000 years : Sweet chestnut.

b) 100-300 years : Walnut.

c) 50-100 years : Persimmon, Avocado.

d) 30-70 years : Apricot, Fig.

e) 20-40 years : Peach, Plum, Pomegranate.

f) 25-30 years : Currant, Gooseberry and Raspberry.

g) 4-5 years : Strawberry.

7) Botanical classification: (Classification of Horticultural crops)

A) Botanical classification of vegetables:

a) Monocot:

i) Areaceae – Colocassia.

ii) Alliaceae – Onion, Garlic.

iii) Diascoreaceae – Yam

b) Dicot:

i) Chenopodiaceae – Spinach.

ii) Cruciferae – Cole crops, Turnip, Radish.

iii) Leguminosae – Pea, Beans, Fenugreek.

iv) Euphorbiaceae – Tapioca.

v) Malvaceae – Okra.

vi) Umbelliferae – Carrot.

vii) Convolvulaceae – Sweet potato.

viii) Solanaceae – Tomato, Brinjal, Chilli, Potato.

ix) Cucurbitaceae – Gourds, Melons, Pumkin.

x) Compositae – Lettuce

B) Botanical classification of fruits:

a) Monocot:

i) Musaceae – Banana.

ii) Bromeliaceae – Pineapple.

b) Dicot:

i) Rhamnaceae – Ber.

ii) Sapotaceae – Chiku.

iii) Rutaceae – Nagpur Santra, Sweet Orange, Acid lime.

iv) Annonaceae – Custard apple, Bullock’s heart.

v) Moraceae – Fig, Jackfruit.

vi) Vitaceae – Grape.

vii) Myrtaceae – Guava.

viii) Apocynaceae – Karonda.

ix) Anacardiaceae – Mango, Cashew nut.

x) Caricaceae – Papaya.

xi) Punicaceae – Pomegranate.

C) Botanical classification of plantations and spices:

a) Monocot:

i) Arecaceae (Palmae) – Coconut.

ii) Arecaceae (Palmae) – Arecanut.

iii) Alliaceae – Onion, Garlic.

iv) Zingiberaceae – Turmeric, Ginger.

b) Dicot:

i) Lauraceae – Cinnamon.

ii) Mytraceae – Clove.

iii) Piperaceae – Black pepper.

iv) Rubiaceae – Coffee.

v) Solanaceae – Chilli.

vi) Sterculiaceae – Cocoa.

8) Classification based on Rate of Respiration (Classification of Horticultural crops)

(A) climacteric 

*Sharp rise in respiration after harvesting 

1 Mango   

2 Banana   

3 Sapota 

4 Guava  

5 Papaya  

6 Apple

7 Fig

8 Peach

9 Pear

10 Plum

11 Annona

(B) Non-climateric

*Steady respiration at the time of harvesting

1 Citrus

2 Grape

3 Pineapple

4 Pomegranate

5 Litchi

6 Ber

7 Jamun

8 Cashew

9 Cherry

10 Strawberry

* Climateric fruits produce much larger amount of ethylene than non climacteric fruits.

*Highest ethylene production :

(i) Apple- (25-2500L/L)
ii) Passion fruit (466-530 L/L)

9. Classification based on Photoperiodic responses (Classification of Horticultural crops)

Long day plant

Passion fruit  

Short day plant


Apple Pineapple

Sweet Potato

Indian spinach 

Dolichos Bean

Cluster Bean

Winged Bean 


Day neutral plant

Papaya, Guava







French Bean


Sweet pepper

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