School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Seed Anatomy

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

seed with labels

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.

 

 

 

embryo, 
stored food

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

radicle, pumule

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make your own seed germination viewer.

Erythrina madagascariensis seeds

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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Erythrina madagascariensis seeds

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

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.