STEVE LOWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE LOWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Polarised light micrograph of the seed pod of Capsella bursa-pastoris which is a member of the Brassicaceae and is used in some parts of the world as a culinary herb. Its common name is Shepherd's purse due to the resemblance of the seed pod to a type of purse worn by shepherds in the 16th century. This type of seed pod is known as a siliqua and comprises of a central septum, from which the seeds grow, and two outer shell cases called carpels that protect the seeds. When the seeds are mature the carpels fall off leaving the septum. The seeds have a peppery flavour. Magnification: x15 at 10cm wide.
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