Related topics: plants · e coli

Rice breeding breakthrough could feed billions

An international team has succeeded in propagating a commercial hybrid rice strain as a clone through seeds with 95 percent efficiency. This could lower the cost of hybrid rice seed, making high-yielding, disease resistant ...

Sowing the seeds of future space travel

After 908 days in low Earth orbit, a small package on board the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-6 has come home to the delight of some biological scientists. Soon they will open an aluminum alloy container that holds samples of ...

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A seed ( /ˈsiːd/ (help·info)), referred to as a kernel in some plants, is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant. The formation of the seed completes the process of reproduction in seed plants (started with the development of flowers and pollination), with the embryo developed from the zygote and the seed coat from the integuments of the ovule.

Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants, relative to more primitive plants like mosses, ferns and liverworts, which do not have seeds and use other means to propagate themselves. This can be seen by the success of seed plants (both gymnosperms and angiosperms) in dominating biological niches on land, from forests to grasslands both in hot and cold climates.

The term seed also has a general meaning that predates the above — anything that can be sown i.e. "seed" potatoes, "seeds" of corn or sunflower "seeds". In the case of sunflower and corn "seeds", what is sown is the seed enclosed in a shell or hull, and the potato is a tuber.

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