Pod dehiscence

The means by which mature pods open to release the seeds.

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Dehiscent completely

The pod opens by both sutures, splitting completely to the base. This also includes where the pod may split to the base along one suture and only partly on the other.

Dehiscent in the upper third only

The pod opens by both sutures, but only in the upper (apical) third.

Dehiscent along only one suture

The pod splits, partly to completely, along one suture only.


The pod does not split open in any regular manner. This includes the fragile, membranous pods of most Trifolium spp., and the leathery pods of Medicago and some Swainsona spp. which are apparently dispersed with the seeds intact.

Splitting into segments

The pod splits into segments (usually indehiscent, one seeded segments) along one or more transverse joints (as in Desmodium and related genera).