Orbicules, or Ubisch bodies, are sporopollenin particles lining the inner tangential and sometimes also the radial tapetal cell walls, They occur only in species with a secretory tapetum, The surface ornamentation of orbicules and pollen of the same species is often strikingly similar. Although orbicules were discovered more than a century ago, these structures remain enigmatic since their function is still obscure. Proposed hypotheses about their possible function are discussed. We also deal here with topics such as the possible allergenicity of orbicules and their representation in the fossil record. The use of orbicule characters for systematics is reviewed. The distribution of orbicules throughout the angiosperms, based on a literature review from the first report until today, is shown in a list with 314 species from 72 families. Those species found in the literature without orbicules are presented together with their tapetum type. We plotted this information on a dahlgrenogram to visualize the distribution of orbicules. Orbicules occur in all subclasses of the angiosperms, Their occurrence is not correlated with certain modes of pollination or habitats.