In botany and horticulture, parthenocarpic literally means virgin fruit; the fruit develops without fertilization of ovules, therefore it is seedless. Parthenocarpy occasionally occurs as a mutation in nature, but it is a defect, as the plant can no longer reproduce.
Humans, however, often see seedlessness as a desirable quality and have selected and artificially propagated parthenocarpic varieties of many plants, including citrus, banana, cucumber, and eggplant.
In some areas lack of pollinators has induced human cultivation of parthenocarpic varieties. Plants moved from one area of the world to another may not always be accompanied by their pollinating partner.
Some modern parthenocarpic varieties have been developed as genetically modified organisms.