One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A form of schizocarp commonly found in plants of the family Euphorbiaceae, which splits into its constituent parts at maturity, after which these parts individually burst open (dehisce) to release the seeds.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828), naturalist and pharmacologist. From ancient Greek ῥῆγμα breakage, fracture, rupture from the stem of ῥηγνύναι to break + -μα.
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