In botany, the term capsule may have any of several meanings:
- A dry, dehiscent fruit, developed from
two or more carpels and containing numerous seeds. (Dehiscent means the spontaneous
opening of a plant structure at maturity.) The seeds of a dehiscent
fruit are released in various ways, for example, by longitudinal splitting
from apex to base, the separated parts being known as valves,
as in the iris; by the formation of pores near the top of the fruit,
as in the snapdragon; or in the pyxidium, by detachment
of a lid following equatorial dehiscence as in the scarlet pimpernel.
- In liverworts and mosses, the organ within
which spores form.
- In some kinds of bacteria, a gelatinous
envelope surrounding the cell wall.
- The connective tissue investment
of an organ, providing mechanical support.