Seeds are the reproductive body of plants. They contain a miniature embryo enclosed in a protective coat. They perform a wide range of functions, including dormancy and dispersal.
Some seeds have fleshy appendages that entice animal dispersers to eat them; others have hooks, barbs, or sticky hairs that attach to fur or feathers. Some have wings for wind dispersal.
They are a source of food
Seeds are a source of food for humans and animals. They are the result of a fertilised ovule and are made up of an embryo surrounded by a reserve of food, protected by a hard seed coat. They vary in size, shape and colour according to the species from which they come. Seeds are the primary means of reproduction for plants, and their functions include nourishment of the embryo, dispersal to a new location, and dormancy under unfavorable conditions. They also provide a rich source of fat, protein and starch.
Nutrients in seeds include protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. They are a great source of protein for omnivores, vegans, and low-FODMAP dieters, and they can help you meet your daily protein needs. Seeds are also a good source of fibre and phenolic compounds. Adding seeds to your diet can boost your overall health and support optimal immune, hormonal, cardiovascular, and muscular health. Seeds are also a great source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
They are a source of reproduction
Seeds are reproductive structures produced by flowering plants (spermatophytes). Plants that produce seeds are called seed plants. They are subdivided into gymnosperms, or “naked-seeded” plants such as conifers and cycads, and angiosperms, or flowering plants with seeds enclosed in ovaries. Other plants such as ferns and mosses do not produce seeds and reproduce by dispersing spores in water.
A seed contains an embryo surrounded by a reserve of food protected by a hard covering. The size of this food reserve depends on the species of seed. This enables the seed to survive for long periods of time.
Seeds can also be transported over great distances by various mechanisms. For example, the coco de mer seed floats and is carried from one island to another in the Indian Ocean. Other seeds, such as those of dandelion and orchids, have wings for wind dispersal or barbs that can hook onto animal fur or feathers. Seed germination is a complex process that involves three stages. During the first stage, a seed is soaked with water to break down physiological dormancy. This is known as imbibition and it reactivates enzymes that convert storage compounds to food for the embryo.
They are a source of dispersal
Many plants disperse their seeds using animals, which can transport them long distances. For example, the seed of water lilies is waterproof and can travel in water, while the fruit of palm trees can be carried by ocean currents. These patterns of directed dispersal are not expected under the modern paradigm of diffuse mutualism, and they have important implications for plant conservation. For example, they may reduce the probability of seed predation and competition for soil resources.
To facilitate animal dispersal, some species enclose their seeds in fleshy fruits that are attractive to frugivores. This is known as endozoochory. Other seed dispersal mechanisms include wind, water and gravity. The seeds are dispersed further from the parent plants, which provides a variety of benefits, including less competition with siblings and parents, more favorable light conditions, and greater resistance to pathogens and predators.
They are a source of spiritual growth
The seed of God’s word is a vital source of spiritual growth. It is from this divine seed that every major prophet and world shaker in history has emerged to change the course of human history. It is also from this seed that we learn the way of peace, truth and compassion.
All seeds have a potential for life, but only when they find the right place and soil for them to grow. Without fertile soil, water and warmth, a seed’s potential is never fully realized.
Christ used the parable of the growing seed to describe the process that gospel message must go through in the souls of people before it bears fruit. He said that the seed in good soil grows and produces, first as a blade, then an ear of corn, and finally a full harvest of ripe and mature fruit. He also compared this to our spiritual maturation as citizens of the kingdom.