Epicarp

Epicarp

With the term epicarp (from the Greek epi above and karpós fruit), in botany, we mean the tissue that constitutes the external part of the fruit.
The epicarp derives from the transformation of the tissue of the epidermis of the ovary (coming from the lower epidermis of the carpellar leaf). Depending on the type of fruit it can take on different consistencies. In many fruits it is what is considered as the peel. In the fruits (hesperides) of the genus Citrus it is thin, colorful (in this case it takes the name of flavedo, from the Latin flavus, yellow) and contains many lysigenic pockets (utricles) rich in essential oils.
The epicarp constitutes the external part of the fruit whose surface can assume very different aspects, it can be:
– smooth as in cherry (Prunus avium);
– pruinose like in grapes (Vitis vinifera) and plums (Prunus domestica);
– hairy as in peach (Prunus persica);
– membranous and also thorny as in the nut of Datura stramonium;
– fleshy as in walnut (Juglans regia).




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