ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,

Monday word: indehiscent

indehiscent (nd-hsnt), adj.
Remaining closed at maturity, as in 'indehiscent fruit'.

This is a botanical term.  Dehiscence is when part of a plant splits open at maturity, for example a pod splitting open to release seeds.  Last year in the garden, I learned that bitter melons are dehiscent:  one day the fruit looked green and solid and ready to eat, and the next time I checked it looked like a half-peeled warty orange banana.

Indehiscent fruit does not split open and must expose its contents some other way - by decay, by being eaten, etc.

Etymology:  early 1800s, from Latin dehiscere, to gape, open, or split.

Not to be confused with "indecent fruit", as indehiscent fruit is arguably quite demure.  ;-)
Tags: adjective, i, latin, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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