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Siliquae of Cardamine impatiens

A silique or siliqua (plural siliques or siliquae) is a type of fruit (seed capsule) having two fused carpels with the length being more than three times the width.[1] When the length is less than three times the width of the dried fruit it is referred to as a silicle. The outer walls of the ovary (the valves) usually separate when ripe, leaving a persistent partition (the replum). This classification includes many members of the Brassicaceae family, but some species have a shorter fruit of similar structure, in which case the fruit is called silicle. Some species closely related to plants with true siliques have fruits with a similar structure that do not open when ripe; these are usually called indehiscent siliques (compare dehiscence).

See alsoEdit

  • Legume – a fruit type that somewhat resembles a silique, but is derived from one carpel that typically splits along two sides.


  1. ^ Hickey, M.; King, C. (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms. Cambridge University Press.