Seeds are the reproductive body of types of plants known as ‘angiosperms’ – flowering plants – and ‘gymnosperms’ – the group that contains conifers.
Every plant seed, regardless of its size or the species of its parent plant, contains three main parts: the embryo, the cotyledon and the seed coat.
The seed’s embryo is the baby plant, the young root and shoot that has the potential to grow up and develop into the majestic specimen that its parent once was.
The cotyledon, or ‘food store’, is the source of a seed’s nourishment, containing enough starchy nutrients for survival during the first few weeks following germination, after which the young plant will be able to make its own food via photosynthesis.
Lastly, the seed coat provides a tough layer of protection for the baby plant, enabling it to lie dormant over winters and be dispersed by animals, wind or water action. Then it can simply wait until the conditions of light, warmth, oxygen and water are perfect to initiate its growth.
Plant seeds facts
Root – Known as the ‘radicle’, this is the start of the plant’s root system
Shoot – Known as the ‘plumule’, this is the baby plant shoot. Two leaves are usually visible.
Cotyledon – These are actually leaves, attached to the shoot. They supply food and eventually drop off.
Seed coat – Known as the ‘testa’, this tough outer coating is split open by the root when germination takes place.
Largest seed – Palm has the largest seed in the world of all plants, Seychelles palm (Lodoicea maldivica) has by far the highest seed weight up to 20 pounds! The largest leaf in the world also has palm trees, African (Raphia regalis) has individual leaves size of 25 meters!
Most expensive – The most expensive seeds in the world is black truffle seed located at the root of hazel.