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Indehiscent (remaining closed) schizocarp of Malva moschata will later split into segments called mericarps

A schizocarp /ˈskɪzəkɑrp/ is a dry fruit that, when mature, splits up into mericarps.

There are different definitions:

  • Any dry fruit composed of multiple carpels that separate.[1]
Under this definition the mericarps can contain one or more seeds (the mericarps of Abutilon have two or more seeds[2]) and each mericarp can be either:
  • Indehiscent (remaining closed), such as in the carrot or in members of the genus Malva, or
  • Dehiscent (splitting open to release the seed), for example members of the genus Geranium. This is similar to what happens with a capsule, but with an extra stage. (In Abutilon, the mericarp is sometimes only partially dehiscent and does not release the seed.)


A dry fruit which splits at maturity into three single-seeded units , each about 2 mm in length , consisting of a seed within a carpel .[4] A dry fruit that at maturity splits into two or more one-seeded parts , as in the carrot or mallow .[5][6]


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