Plant seeds

show/hide words to know

Dormant: something that is inactive. Not growing or developing.

Embryo: the egg after fertilization and before it has developed into a recognizable form.

Germinate: when seeds start growing and developing after being dormant.

Madagascar: the Republic of Madagascar is an island country of the southeastern coast of Africa... more

Seed Anatomy

Seeing Seeds Close-up - These pictures are of a pea seed

Here you can see, I've removed the seed coat and split the seed in half. One half has the embryo and some of the stored food, and the other half holds the rest of the stored food.

seed with labels

This picture is of the half of the seed that has the embryo.

embryo,<br />
stored food

This picture is a close-up of the embryo. You can see the part of the embryo called the radicle, which will grow and develop into the roots. You can also see the part called the plumule (PLOOM-ule), which will grow and develop into the stems and leaves.

radicle, pumule

Make your own seed germination viewer.

View Citation

You may need to edit author's name to meet the style formats, which are in most cases "Last name, First name."

Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Seed Anatomy
  • Author(s): Elena Ortiz
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: October 7, 2009
  • Date accessed: April 13, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Elena Ortiz. (2009, October 07). Seed Anatomy. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved April 13, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Elena Ortiz. "Seed Anatomy". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 07 October, 2009.

MLA 2017 Style

Elena Ortiz. "Seed Anatomy". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 07 Oct 2009. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 13 Apr 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
Faceae seeds from Madagascar are red and black

These seeds are in the Fabaceae family and are found only in Madagascar. Can you think of a reason for the bright colored shells?

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