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  • In BOTANY, a follicle is a type of simple dry fruit produced by certain flowering plants. It is regarded as one the most primitive types of fruits, and derives from a simple pistil or carpel (see flower). At maturity, the follicle dehisces (splits open) along the ventral (seed-bearing) suture and the seeds are released, usually by mechanical motion of the stem. Examples of follicles are found in milkweed, magnolia, peonies, and larkspur.

    In ANATOMY, a follicle can mean a small cavity or sac. Examples include hair follicles and ovarian follicles.

    From the Latin folliculus.

    June 12, 2009