Botanical Nerd Word: Climacteric

Tomatoes ripening on the vine

Climacteric: The phase of increased respiration found at the ripening of fruit and at senescence.*

Fruits such as bananas and tomatoes are climacteric and can ripen off the plant if picked green. Other fruits, such as oranges, are not climacteric and must remain on the plant in order to ripen.

*Allaby, M. (2006). A dictionary of plant sciences (Revised ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.