Find the word definition

Crossword clues for caryopsis

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Caryopsis \Car`y*op"sis\, n.; pl. Caryopses. [NL., fr. gr. ? hut, kernel + ? sight, form.] (Bot.) A one-celled, dry, indehiscent fruit, with a thin membranous pericarp, adhering closely to the seed, so that fruit and seed are incorporated in one body, forming a single grain, as of wheat, barley, etc. [1913 Webster] ||


n. A type of fruit in which the fruit skin is stuck to the seed coat; especially the grain of a cereal.

  1. n. dry seedlike fruit produced by the cereal grasses: e.g. wheat, barley, Indian corn [syn: grain]

  2. [also: caryopsides (pl), caryopses (pl)]


In botany, a caryopsis (plural caryopses) is a type of simple dry fruit—one that is monocarpellate (formed from a single carpel) and indehiscent (not opening at maturity) and resembles an achene, except that in a caryopsis the pericarp is fused with the thin seed coat.

The caryopsis is popularly called a grain and is the fruit typical of the family Poaceae (or Gramineae), which includes wheat, rice, and corn.

The term grain is also used in a more general sense as synonymous with cereal (as in "cereal grains", which include some non-Poaceae). Considering that the fruit wall and the seed are intimately fused into a single unit, and the caryopsis or grain is a dry fruit, little concern is given to technically separating the terms fruit and seed in these plant structures. In many grains, the " hulls" to be separated before processing are actually flower bracts.