Skip to Content

Follicle (fruit)

« Back to Glossary Index

– Definition and Formation:
– A follicle is a dry unilocular fruit from one carpel.
– It typically contains two or more seeds.
– Dehiscence through a suture allows seed release.
– Indehiscent follicles exist, like in Filipendula.
– Aggregate fruits of follicles form a follicetum.

– Examples of Follicle Plants:
– Consolida, peony, and milkweed have follicles.
– Hellebore, aconite, Delphinium, and Aquilegia also have follicles.
– Crassulaceae family exhibits follicles in a whorl.
– Magnolia showcases numerous follicles in a spiral.
– Banksia and Stenocarpus sinuatus have follicles that release seeds.

– Dehiscence Mechanisms:
– Some species’ follicles dehisce through the ventral suture.
– Others dehisce via the dorsal suture.
– Banksia’s inflorescence matures into follicles.
– Helleborus foetidus and Banksia have mature follicles.
– Stenocarpus sinuatus releases papery brown seeds from its follicles.

– References:
– Hickey and King’s “The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms.”
– Rendle’s work on fruit in the Encyclopædia Britannica.
Flora of China online as a botanical reference.
– Renshaw and Burgin’s study on Banksia in the Australian Journal of Botany.
– Kapil and Bhandari’s research on Magnolia morphology and embryology.

– External Links:
– Wikimedia Commons for media related to Follicle (fruit).
– Colliers New Encyclopedia’s entry on Follicle.
– Wikipedia article stub on plant morphology.
– Link to expand Wikipedia article on Follicle (fruit).
– Categories like Fruit morphology and Plant morphology stubs related to Follicle.

Follicle (fruit) (Wikipedia)

In botany, a follicle is a dry unilocular fruit formed from one carpel, containing two or more seeds. It is usually defined as dehiscing by a suture in order to release seeds, for example in Consolida (some of the larkspurs), peony and milkweed (Asclepias).

A milkweed follicle releasing its seeds.

Some difficult cases exist however, so that the term indehiscent follicle is sometimes used, for example with the genus Filipendula, which has indehiscent fruits that could be considered intermediate between a (dehiscent) follicle and an (indehiscent) achene.

An aggregate fruit that consists of follicles may be called a follicetum. Examples include hellebore, aconite, Delphinium, Aquilegia or the family Crassulaceae, where several follicles occur in a whorl on a shortened receptacle, or Magnolia, which has many follicles arranged in a spiral on an elongated receptacle.

The follicles of some species dehisce by the ventral suture (as in Banksia), or by the dorsal suture (as in Magnolia).

« Back to Glossary Index