• WordNet 3.6
    • n pericarp the ripened and variously modified walls of a plant ovary
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pericarp (Bot) The ripened ovary; the walls of the fruit. See Illusts. of Capsule Drupe, and Legume.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pericarp In flowering plants, the seed-vessel or ripened ovary. It should accord in structure with the ovary from which it is derived, but extensive changes frequently take place during fructiflcation by which the original ovarian form is obscured. Thus, by abortion the original number of cells in the ovary may be reduced in the fruit, as in the oak, chestnut, elm, and birch; or by the intrusion of false partitions the original mumber may be increased in the fruit, as in Datura, Linum, Astragalus, etc. The pericarp may acquire external accessions, as the wing of the maple, ash, and hoptree, the prickles on the pod of Datura, Ricinus, etc., or the barbs of the Boraginaceæ. Connected organs may modify the ovary, such as the adnate calyx of the apple, the pappus of the Compositæ, the persistent style of Clematis, the fleshy calyx of Gaultheria, or the fleshy receptacle of the strawberry. The walls of the ovary may change in consistence in the mature pericarp, being leaf-like in the pea-pod, columbine, caltha, etc., thickened and dry in nuts and capsules, fleshy or pulpy in berries, and fleshy without but indurated within, as in all stone-fruits. Where the walls of the pericarp are composed of dissimilar layers, the layers are distinguished as exocarp, endocarp, epicarp, mesocarp, and putamen. In cryptogams the pericarp is a variously modified structure containing certain organs of reproduction. Thus, in the Characeæ it incloses the oösperm, while in the Florideæ it incloses the carpospores. The term is also sometimes synonymous with the theca or capsule of mosses.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pericarp per′i-kärp (bot.) the covering, shell, or rind of fruits: a seed-vessel
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. ; around + fruit: cf. F. péricarpe,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. perikarpionperi, around, karpos, fruit.


In literature:

He is a pericarp merely.
"Birds and Poets" by John Burroughs
Its fleshy pericarp yields by expression olive oil, of which the finest comes from Provence and Florence.
"The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom" by P. L. Simmonds
Later, vesication of the whole pericarpal region is done and the subject allowed exercise at will.
"Lameness of the Horse" by John Victor Lacroix
White pepper has the black pericarp or hull removed.
"Human Foods and Their Nutritive Value" by Harry Snyder
They could see scores of the prickly pericarps hanging overhead, but so high as to make the obtaining of them apparently impossible.
"The Castaways" by Captain Mayne Reid
The seed fills the cavity fully and the pericarp fuses with the seed-coat and so they are inseparable.
"A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses" by Rai Bahadur K. Ranga Achariyar
This bush is ten or twelve feet in height, and its seeds grow in a burr-like pericarp.
"The Forest Exiles" by Mayne Reid
The outer portion, the pericarp, is almost entirely yellow oil encased in a thick skin.
"An African Adventure" by Isaac F. Marcosson
This bush is ten or twelve feet in height, and its seeds grow in a burr-like pericarp.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
Valonia, a material largely used by tanners, is the pericarp of an acorn obtained in the neighbouring oak-woods, and derives its name from Valona.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1" by Various