A seed is the reproductive unit of a flowering plant. It contains a body plant or embryo and food reserves inside a protective seed coat.
When the conditions of water, air and sunlight are right, seeds grow into new plants. This process is called germination.
What is a seed?
A seed is the embryo of a plant that can grow into a new plant. It is the reproductive body of types of plants known as ‘angiosperms’ (flowering plants) and ‘gymnosperms’ (conifers).
A typical seed consists of three main parts: an embryo, a food supply called a cotyledon and a protective coat. All of these play a crucial role in the growth of the seed and help it to germinate into a healthy new plant.
During the initial growth of a seed, the embryo is the baby plant that contains the root, stem and leaves, as well as a food supply – called endosperm – which supplies the seed with starch and oil reserves for the first few weeks after germination. These are essential for sustaining the new plant’s development until it is ready to make its own food using sunlight, water and air.
Functions of a seed
Seeds are a key part of the reproduction process for most flowering plants. Each seed contains an embryo and a supply of food for the growing plant.
The embryo develops from a zygote – a cell that is fertilized by a sperm nucleus. This zygote then fuses with the endosperm, which supplies the seed with stored food for growth and development after germination.
A seed also has a protective coat that helps to protect the seed from water, pests and other damage. The outer seed coat can be hard like those on corn and sunflower seeds, or soft, like those on marigolds.
The seed is a very special structure, one that can survive in many different kinds of environments. It provides food for both humans and animals, and it’s the starting point for a new plant.
Types of seeds
Seeds are the parts of a plant that can germinate to become a new plant. They have an embryo, a supply of nutrients and a protective seed coat that helps the plant grow.
The seeds vary in size, shape and color from species to species. Some are light and easy to move, while others are large and strong. Some of them are nutrient-dense, like sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Origins of seeds
SEEDS ARE an extraordinary development in the life of plants. They have a special capacity for propagation and protection, allowing many kinds of flowering and coniferous plants to survive in areas where they would not otherwise thrive.
Seeds are able to disperse themselves through a variety of agents, including wind, water, animals, and human transport. Some seeds are lightweight and easily carried by air, while others float on the water or ride on an animal to a new location.
They also have a delayed action mechanism that allows them to remain dormant until the right weather conditions occur for growth, thus preserving their germinating power.
Some seeds grow completely in a few days, while others take years. They vary greatly in size and in the type of embryo that is present inside them. They are classified as either monocotyledonous or dicotyledonous.