Dry fruits are divided into those whose hard or papery
seedpod split open to release the
Dehiscent), and those that do not
split (indehiscent fruits).
Knowing the type of fruit a plant has help to identify it.
DRY DEHISCENT FRUITS (Pericarp
splits open along definite seams)
- Follicle: A single
ripened ovary which splits on one
side only. It may contain one (as in milkweed) or many seeds in a
- Legume: A dry dehiscent
pod that splits on two sides. An elongate "bean pod" splitting along
two seams; typical fruit of the third largest plant
family, the legume family (Leguminosae
- Lomentum: A dry dehiscent fruit, a legume constricted
between the seeds.
- Silique: A slender,
dry, dehiscent fruit that superficially resemble a legume, It is long
and thin, splits down the two long sides, and has a papery
septum) between the two halves.
- Silicula: A silique
which is less than twice as long as broad.
- Capsule: A Capsule is
the most common fruit type found in many different plant families. A
Capsule is a dry fruit which splits open to release the seeds. Seed
pod splits open is various ways and usually along several definite
seams. Capsules typically split open into well-defined sections or
carpels which represent modified leaves.
DRY INDEHISCENT FRUITS (Pericarp
does not split open. These fruits usually contain only one seed)
- Achene: A single-seeded dry indehiscent fruit , usually
produced in clusters. in which the
seed coat is not part of the fruit coat. At
maturity the pericarp is dry and
free from the internal seed, except at the
placental attachment. This is
the typical fruit of the largest plant
family, the sunflower family (Compositae or Asteraceae).
- Cypsela: A single-seeded dry indehiscent fruit that
develops from a one part
inferior ovary (on the stalk
side of the flower). They are
sometimes included with Achenes.
- Nut: A large single hardened achene. Larger,
one-seeded fruit with very hard
pericarp, usually enclosed in a husk or cup-like
- Grain or Caryopsis: A simple dry indehiscent fruit,
like an achene, but with the
seedcoat fused with the fruit coat. This is the fruit of members
of the Grass Family (Poaceae):
- Samara: An independent dry indehiscent fruit which has part
of the fruit wall extended to
form a wing (i.e. not a winged seed inside another type of seed