splitting apart. Describes the release of seed capsules at maturity.
Dehiscence is the splitting along a built-in line of weakness in a plant structure in order to release its contents, and is common among fruits, anthers and sporangia. Sometimes this involves the complete detachment of a part. Structures that open in this way are said to be dehiscent. Structures that do not open in this way are called indehiscent, and rely on other mechanisms such as decay or predation to release the contents.
A similar process to dehiscence occurs in some flower buds (e.g., Platycodon, Fuchsia), but this is rarely referred to as dehiscence unless circumscissile dehiscence is involved; anthesis is the usual term for the opening of flowers. Dehiscence may or may not involve the loss of a structure through the process of abscission. The lost structures are said to be caducous.