Last updated: November 22, 2021

What Does Septum Mean?

In plants, as in mammals, a septum is a partition that separates two or more chambers, called locules. These are found in anthers (the pollen-bearing part of a stamen), fruits, and sporangiums (found on spore-producing plants, such as ferns).

The term “septum” is used in both animal and plant biology to refer to a structure that separates two or more chambers. For instance, in the human nose, a septum divides the two nasal passages. In plants, perhaps the best example of a septum would be the structure within some fruit that separates the seeds into different cavities, or locules.


Maximum Yield Explains Septum

Some fruits lack septa completely, while others may have one or more. Think of an orange – when you remove the peel, the interior of the fruit is a collection of separate sections, what we think of as slices. Each slice is distinct, and contains its own seeds, as well as flesh.

Another example of a septum in the world of fruit is the tomato. When you slice a tomato in half, you’ll find that there is a firm center septum dividing the interior into distinct chambers, each filled with seeds.

We think of the septum of a tomato as the “meat”, and different varieties have thinner or thicker septa. Beefsteak tomato varieties have very few seeds, and a very large septum. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, have very little meat, and more seeds.


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