Dehiscence (botany)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Dehiscence is the splitting at maturity along a built-in line of weakness in a plant structure in order to release its contents, and is common among fruits, anthers and sporangia. Sometimes this involves the complete detachment of a part. Structures that open in this way are said to be dehiscent. Structures that do not open in this way are called indehiscent, and rely on other mechanisms such as decay or predation to release the contents.

A similar process to dehiscence occurs in some flower buds (e.g., Platycodon, Fuchsia), but this is rarely referred to as dehiscence unless circumscissile dehiscence is involved; anthesis is the usual term for the opening of flowers. Dehiscence may or may not involve the loss of a structure through the process of abscission. The lost structures are said to be caducous.

See also

  • Abscission -- separation of structures that leads to their loss
  • Anthesis -- the opening of flowers
  • Elaters -- structures that form inside a sporangium and aid in spore dispersal of horsetails, liverworts, and hornworts
  • Loment -- a type of fruit that breaks apart but is not dehiscent
  • Schizocarp -- a type of fruit that breaks apart and may or may not be dehiscent.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dehiscence (botany)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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