Most animals and microorganisms rely on primary resources to meet their energy needs. These primary resources include plants and trees.
Plants are self-sufficient when it comes to producing food. This is so, as they can produce their food through a process known as photosynthesis. These plants reproduce by two major means including seeds and spores.
17 Types of Edible Seed
Chia seeds have a similar appearance to sesame seeds. These seeds are native to South and Central America. There are almost one-third fat contents in chia seeds. The fat content is relatively lower when compared to other seeds.
Besides, the fiber content is one-third. One tablespoon of chia seeds is capable of providing 2.8g of fiber, which can meet 10% of our daily fiber needs. Chia seeds offer 160kJ energy with each tablespoon. They have 138 kcal and 5g protein per ounce.
Chia seeds also offer a reasonable amount of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
It is easy to include these seeds into your favorite recipes. You can either sprinkle them after grinding or use them as a whole with your cereal. Soaking them gives a soft texture, which makes them easy to swallow.
Pepitas is another popular name for pumpkin seeds. These seeds are present in the middle of the pumpkin. The shell is removed to bring out the nutritional part of the seed. Pumpkin seeds are dried before actually consuming them. One tablespoon of pumpkin seeds offers 190kJ energy. They have 158 kcal and 9g of protein per ounce.
These seeds also contain important minerals like magnesium and zinc. You can consume them in a variety of ways. Some of the most common methods are:
- Sprinkling them on oatmeal
- Baked into muffins
- Eating them after baking to crisp
- By adding them to energy bars
Apart from being a tasty snack, the pumpkin seeds are capable of meeting your daily iron needs.
A similar amount can give 5 grams of fiber. The fiber content is higher than nuts. Furthermore, pumpkin seeds tend to offer other nutrients like omega-3 amino acids, and protein.
Wild rice is similar to normal rice, yet it offers some additional nutrients. It has higher protein contents when compared to other whole grains. Besides, it contains 30% more antioxidants than regular rice.
In addition, it is a perfect source of fiber and contains numerous other nutrients.
Wild rice can also prove effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels. They can serve as a good substitute for white rice.
These are the red jewels commonly known as arils. The pomegranate seeds contain an extended amount of fiber. Arils can meet 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement of an adult.
These seeds also contain antioxidants named polyphenols. These heart-healthy antioxidants include:
Arils are extremely delicious, as they offer sweet and juicy flavor. You can consume them with freshly prepared salads.
Poppy seeds come from Papaver somniferum, which is a West Asian plant. Poppy seeds are so tiny that one gram contains about 3300 seeds. They have a nutty flavor and are used as topping on baked goods.
Poppy seeds possess high calcium content (120mg per tablespoon).
Nevertheless, the calcium contained in poppy seeds isn’t fully absorbed by our bodies. One tablespoon of poppy seeds offers about 190kJ energy. They have 149 kcal and 5g protein per ounce.
Sunflower seeds are among the most common edible seeds. They come from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) which is native to North America.
The sunflower seeds have a subtle nutty flavor. Particularly, these seeds are rich in vitamin E. Usually, 3mg of vitamin E is available in one tablespoon and it offers 220kJ energy. One ouce has 165 kcal, 6g of protein.
The use of flaxseeds dates back to 7000 years ago. At that time, this seed was cultivated for linen fiber as well as food. These seeds have a glossy appearance with a reddish-brown color.
Flax seeds are small but tend to be the richest source of omega-3 (plant-derived). They offer a powerful fiber boost. One tablespoon of this seed contains 2.8g of fiber and it offers 220kJ energy. They have 151 kcal, 5g protein per ounce.
Sesame seeds come from a plant named Sesamum indicum. This plant is native to Africa, which is a herb that can grow about 2m tall. These are small seeds with a pear-shaped appearance. These seeds have a rich earthy as well as nutty flavor.
Sesame seeds are available in three colors i.e. white, black, and brown. One tablespoon offers 180kJ of energy. One ounce has 162 kcal, 5g protein.
Quinoa seeds contain high protein content. Each cup of these seeds contains 8 grams of protein. Besides, these seeds also provide a sufficient amount of vitamin E and amino acids.
An antioxidant named Quercetin is also present in Quinoa. These seeds have a nutty flavor and can serve as a perfect substitution for cereals. You can also make gluten-free bread with quinoa seeds.
Pine nuts are amazingly delicious seeds. In addition to their savory flavor, these seeds also contain a wealth of nutrients including many vitamins.
These seeds also offer linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid, which serves as an appetite suppressant. So, people thinking about losing weight must think about consuming pine seeds.
Furthermore, the mono-saturated fats available in pine nuts can also lower cholesterol levels. This in turn minimizes the risk of a heart attack.
Just like other edible seeds, you can consume them in numerous ways. For instance, they serve as a perfect partner for muffins, salads, and trail mixes.
11. Hemp Seeds
They are high in protein, have 157 kcal and 9 grams protein per ounce.
12. Nigella Seeds
They are are used for seasoning food. AKA fennel, black cummin. 97 kcal, 4g protein per ounce.
13. Lotus Seeds
The are used in cooking and have 25 kcal, 1g protein per ounce.
14. Jackfruit Seeds
They have 53 kcal, 2g protein per ounce.
15. Watermelon Seeds
They supply 158 kcal, 8g protein per ounce.
16. Egusi Seeds
Sour tasting used in cooking. Comes from squash.
17. Breadnut seeds
They are sweet tasting, yellowish color, and have 587 Kcal/cup.
What is the Seed?
In scientific terms, a seed is the fertilized ovule of a plant. There are two major parts of a seed i.e. embryo and seed coat. The embryo consists of an embryonal axis, a radicle, and one or two cotyledons.
It is present in the fruit and develops into a plant under favorable conditions. Hence, seeds play a key role when it comes to plant reproduction. Seeds are present in both the gymnosperms and angiosperms.
Seeds have a protective covering known as a seed coat. There are numerous types of seed coats depending on the type of seeds. For instance, the seed coat of a coconut seed is among the toughest options.
Seeds with a thicker protective layer can survive for a longer period. The reason for this is the level of protection it ensures against water or physical damage.
Besides, seeds come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The reason for this is to assist these seeds during their dispersal. Small seeds with a feather-like structure are lighter and can fly away with the wind.
For instance, the seeds from dandelions or cottonwood trees can actually fly with the air current and cover huge distances. On the other hand, there are certain seeds that cant disperse on their own.
Hence, these seeds are enclosed in fleshy and delicious fruits that birds and animals like to eat. While eating the fruit, these seeds enter the digestive system and come out along their feces.
Technically, the seed contains a tiny undeveloped plant known as an “Embryo”. The embryo is covered in a protective coating called “Testa”.
The endosperm is another essential part of the seeds. It is a nutrient-rich material, which covers the embryo. A large part of our diet comes from the endosperm of a seed. For instance, rice, corn, and wheat contain nutrient-rich endosperms.
Formation of Seed in Angiosperm
In angiosperm (flowering plants) the seeds are formed out of the ovules that are present in the ovary. Normally, the ovule needs to undergo a fertilization process before actually becoming a seed. This also involves the process of pollination.
During this process, the pollen grains reach “Stigma”, which then starts to germinate. Pollen grains of the same species create pollen tubes, which in the end grow into an ovule.
Once the generative nucleus unites with the egg, it starts to fertilize. The result is a diploid zygote. The zygote divides a few times and develops into an embryo.
Formation of Seed in Gymnosperm
In gymnosperms, the seeds are naked like conifers. The ovules are exposed and not enclosed in the ovary. There is a huge time difference between pollination and fertilization.
The ovules start to turn into seeds before fertilization. In a few cases, the process of fertilization doesn’t occur till the ovules fall down the tree.
In pine (Pinus sylvestris), the female cones start to develop in winter. These cones are prepared for receiving the pollen grains from another male cone during spring. The remaining process is similar to angiosperms.
Seed Germination Process Step-by-Step
The seed germination process is the simplest way to start a wide range of plants. Especially, this process tends to be cost-effective and ensures better growth of the plants.
So, for those who are thinking of starting their kitchen or backyard garden, learning the seed germination procedure is highly recommended.
Besides, watching plants growing from seeds is a satisfying and relaxing moment. In most cases, people feel a strong bonding to the plans they have grown themselves through seed germination.
Given below are the steps to follow while growing your seeds.
Step 1: Choose your Seeds
The start with, select the seeds you want to plant. This is an important step, as you must choose seeds depending on your gardening expertise.
Normally, bigger seeds are easy to grow. These include:
On the other hand, the small seeds are difficult to grow. These seeds include:
- Brussels sprouts
Besides, the flower seeds are viable options for beginners or novice gardeners. These include:
Step 2: Select an Ideal Container
Sowing seed in garden beds isn’t a great idea. When doing so, the chances of germination are relatively lower. This is so, as the birds, crickets or other insects can feed on these seeds. Hence, consider planting your seeds indoors. The indoor environment is safe and cozy.
Talking about the seed containers, you should go for tiny pots. Some people also use egg cartons for this purpose, which isn’t a bad idea at all. Besides, you can also buy seed starting trays.
These are convenient to use and have specific design features. For instance, seed trays have drainage holes and dome cover for maintaining an ideal level of humidity. Make sure to place a drip tray to store seeping moisture.
Step 3: Pour Seed Starting Mix
Generally, using a seed starting mix is highly recommended. This type of mixture is different from the potting soil. It consists of various materials. A few of these are:
- Peat moss
- Coco coir
The mixture offers superior drainage. In addition, the softness of the materials allows easy growth of the sprouts. Being sterile, there will be no issue of fungus diseases.
Prior to filling your container, makes sure to moist the mixture with some water. In order to judge the perfect water to seed mix ratio, you can do a simple test.
Squeeze the mix in your hand. If a stream of water comes out of the mix, it is too wet. On the contrary, if no water comes out of the mix, it is too dry.
Settle for a particular water to seed mix ratio where a few drops fall out of your hand when squeezing the wet mixture. This is essential, as a perfectly moist starting mix helps proper seed germination.
Now fill the containers with the moist mixture. Leave the quarter-inch area of the container empty. Press the mix so that it is flat on the top.
Step 4: Time to Plant Your Seeds
Before planting the seeds, it is imperative to consider the instructions mentioned on the packet i.e spacing and depth. However, if the packet doesn’t mention a thing, you should follow the rule of thumb.
For this purpose, bury a seed twice as deep as its length. For instance, if the seed is 1cm long, bury it underneath 2cm of seed mixture. After burying the seed, slightly compress the mixture with your palm.
A few seeds like petunia, snapdragon, and lettuce need light for their germination. Hence, you must place those seeds on the surface rather than burying them.
Step 5: Enclose the Container
In order to enclose the seeds, you can use plastic wrap. Usually, seed starter trays come with a plastic dome cover. This helps to lock in the moisture and maintains a perfect temperature for better seed germination.
It is better to place the container in a warm place. Avoid placing your container or seed starter tray in the direct sunlight. Nevertheless, pay attention to the instructions on the packet, as some seeds need complete darkness for their germination.
You can also speed up the germination of your seeds by placing a heat mat underneath the tray.
Step 6: Pour Required Amount of Water
Check the moisture level of the seed starting mix every day. If it is dry, provide an adequate amount of water. Avoid using the watering can, as it may wash away the mixture and buried seeds.
The best possible option is the spray bottle. Just spray a layer of mist to dampen the surface of the seed-starter mix. During hot weather, you can repeat this process twice a day.
If you don’t have time to regularly check the moisture level, put the seed starter container in a large tray containing some water. In this way, the mix will automatically absorb the required amount of water.
Once the sprouts start to come out of the mix, remove the cover from your seed starter tray or container.
Step 7: Take Good Care of the Seedlings
After the seeds start to germinate, they require more care and attention. You have to keep them at an ideal temperature. Most seed packets also mention the temperature and moisture required for the proper growth of the seedlings.
Just like the germination phase, you have to keep an eye on the moisture level of the seed starting mix. It should contain a sufficient amount of moisture.
This allows the seedlings to draw desired amount of nutrition necessary for their growth. However, make sure not to oversaturate the seedlings.
Start fertilizing the seedlings once they have developed their leaves for the second time. These are the true leaves, which is an indication that seedlings are getting mature.
You need to be careful when fertilizing the seedlings. Use liquid fertilizer as per the instructions. Don’t spray the fertilizer onto the seedlings, rather put it in the tray below the pot containing seedlings.
The seed starter mixture will soak the required amount of fertilizer. Nevertheless, avoid using fertilizer if the compost is already present in the seed starting mix.
Step 8: Hardening off
The hardening off is a method of introducing indoor seedlings to outdoor conditions. This process involves gradual transition. For instance, the seed might face colder or hotter temperatures, sunlight, and wind.
This helps the seedlings to adapt to outdoor conditions. As a result, they will have a better chance to survive when you will plant them in the outdoor garden bed.
You need to start this process nearly 10 to 14 days prior to the transplant day. This involves placing the seedlings in an outdoor spot for an hour.
Choose a perfect spot that offers reasonable amount of light. Extend this time with each passing day. This leads to exposing them to more sunlight.
Step 9: Transplanting the Seedlings
Once the seedlings have undergone the hardening process and the weather is perfect, it’s the transplantation time. At this time, the seedlings have already adapted to the outdoor conditions.
For transplantation, you can use either a pot or an outdoor garden bed. For the transplantation instructions, you can also refer to the seed packet.
Besides, plant seedlings while sparing a sufficient space between them. The required space is also mentioned on the seed packet. When uprooting the seedling, try not to damage their delicate roots.
In the end, water the seedlings carefully. It will help them to spread their roots evenly in the soil. With this, the seed germination process comes to an end. Now you just need to take routine care of the young plant.
Average Lifespan of a Seeds
In fact, there is no specific tenure for the survival of a seed. This is so, as the experts have different opinions regarding this particular aspect. In most cases, seed can last for a couple of years.
Seeds are perishable things. Hence, they can rot quickly when exposed to excessive humidity or other unfavorable elements. On the contrary, it is possible to keep the seeds in good shape for a longer period.
For this purpose, you can store your seeds in a dry and cool place. For instance, enclosing seeds in an airtight glass jar and placing them in the refrigerator can increase their shelf life.
In addition, pelletized and treated seeds can also exhibit variable shelf life under normal conditions. The health of the seed-bearing plant also affects the perishability of some seeds.
Onion seeds have a shorter life, as they can last no more than a year. Muskmelons have a shelf life of five years. However, watermelons have a shorter lifespan. The seeds of corn, beans, and peas, can last for two-three years.
What is Germination Test and How to Perform it?
Usually, farmers and gardeners perform germination tests to check the health of the leftover seeds. It is a way to know the percentage of healthy plants a specific amount of seeds can offer.
Leftover seeds may lose their ability to germinate properly. There are numerous reasons for the seeds to stop germinating. The most common of them is the fungus, which can destroy a seed.
Performing Germination Test
During this process, you need to gather these essential things:
- Plastic bags (zipper-lock)
- Sheets of paper towel
- Small plastic labels
- Indelible marker
Take 10 seeds from the bag of leftover seeds. Now place these seeds in a row on a paper towel. Slightly dampen the paper towel and roll it up.
Put the rolled seeds into a plastic bag and label it if you are testing more than one type of seeds. Now place the bag in a place that is dry and warm.
Check the packed seeds after some days. After a week or so, take a close look at the seeds and provide them with some moisture. Once all the seeds have completed their germination process, it’s time to count them.
Just count those seeds that are exhibiting signs of healthy germination. Now multiply the number with ten. This will give you a percentage of germination regarding a particular type of seeds.
For instance, if 8 out of ten seeds were germinated, multiplying the digit 8 with 10 would give the number 80. Hence, the test suggests that the seeds have 80% chance of growth.
What are Heating Mats?
Most of the plant seeds can germinate properly when exposed to a slightly heated environment. In order to offer a cozy environment to the seeds, gardeners use electric heat mats that are waterproof too.
These heat mats are placed underneath the seedling trays. The mats increase the temperature within the seed starter tray. Usually, the mat manages to increase a temperature up to 20 degrees.
Besides, the use of a dome is also necessary, which retains the required amount of moisture. It is an efficient method, as you don’t have to heat the whole room.
Although not essential, these heat mats can ensure a better outcome when the seeds are undergoing the germination process.
What Types of Seeds can Grow Directly in the Garden Bed?
Different seeds show different behavior when you grow them outdoors. However, there are certain seeds, which doesn’t require much care for their germination. These include:
- Salad i.e. lettuce, arugula
- Peas and spinach
- Chard, beets, broccoli raab
- Root crops, kales, and collards
- Dill and beans
It is possible to sow squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers directly. However, the most common menace or threat to these seeds is chipmunks. They usually steal the seeds.
Even the seeds are capable of growing outside, it is better to choose indoor germination. This is so, as regular growth of a specific plant can cause various pests like flea beetles to damage the plants.
Moreover, you should also start brassicas in an indoor setup. It can help to avoid the weeds and offer better nourishment to the plants.
Difference between GMO and Non-GMO Seeds
The term GMO refers to the “Genetically Modified Organism”. It is a process of genetically engineering the traits of a seed. It is a controversial practice, which isn’t appreciated a lot.
Talking about the GMO seeds, these types of seeds aren’t grown in a natural environment. On the contrary, GMO seeds are created in a laboratory.
In most cases, scientists use the latest biotechnology techniques such as gene splicing. This process involves modifying the DNA of a seed. The plant grown from this type of seed will exhibit certain desired characteristics.
On the contrary, the Non-GMO seeds come through a natural process known as pollination. There are two different ways of breeding these seeds such as:
- Hybrid seeds
- Open-pollinated seeds
The hybrid process of seed formation involves cross-pollination, which is carefully controlled. For this purpose, two different types of parent plants are used. It helps to introduce new traits or qualities.
These types of varieties are also known as “First-Filial” or F1 hybrids. The seeds thus produced are different from their parent plants. They have characteristics different from those seen in both the parent plants.
The seeds thus generated will own characteristics similar to their parent plant. It is referred to as the “True to Type.”
Advantages of GMO Seeds
- GMO seeds help to grow new varieties of fruits and vegetables.
- These seeds show more resistance to the diseases.
- Genetically engineered seeds can grow nutritious herbicides.
- Crops can offer more yield, as they are protected from various diseases.
- Genetically modified seeds can also enhance the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.
Disadvantages of GMO Seeds
- Since GMO is a new technology, there is little knowledge about the side effects and safety concerns.
- The downsides of GMOs are under debate and more research is required. Hence using them may turn out to be harmful to some.
What is Seed Dispersal?
Seed dispersal is a process by which plant seeds are transported from one place to another. This procedure is important for the population of a particular plant.
Upon reaching the new places, the seeds may wait for better conditions for germination. During favorable conditions, these seeds turn into a plant.
Usually, animals play a critical role during seed dispersal. The fate of the dispersed seeds relies on the effective role of the animals. The dispersed seeds can cause a dynamic impact on the genetics and plant population.
This also helps to maintain the community of plants for longer periods. Seed formation and its dispersal are critical processes. Hence, numerous studies have been conducted to unfold the complexities.
Given below are the different types of seed dispersal.
Types of Seed Dispersal
The journey of a seed might be the toughest one. When we compare this tiny part of a plant to the huge world, it is literally ignorable. However, it still manages to show its existence in shape of a strong plant or tree.
A plant seed not only requires a perfect place to grow, but it also needs to compete with other plants for sunlight, nutrients, and water. In fact, the parent plant and its offspring can’t grow at the same location.
This might turn out to be disadvantageous to share similar resources. Hence, the evolution has allowed plants to make certain adaptations regarding seed dispersal.
Here are a few of the most effective strategies followed by plants when it comes to seed dispersal.
Plants like dandelions, cottonwood, and swan have extremely light seeds. Moreover, these seeds have feathery bristles. This allows them to take flight and cover long distances via wind power.
In addition, maple and kauri plants have winged seeds. Although these seeds aren’t able to fly, they continue to roll over on the ground due to wind. This allows them to cover reasonable distances.
Wind dispersal is a simple process where the seeds are carried away with wind and land at different places. This improves the chances of germination, as most of the seeds find a suitable place for growth.
There are numerous plants, which use water to disperse their seeds. Mostly these plants are located at the banks of rivers, streams, or water bodies. After detaching from the plant, the seeds start to float on the water.
For instance, mangrove seeds that fall on the ground start to grow at the same location. On the contrary, these seeds cover long distances when they fall on water.
In addition to mangroves, Kowhai trees also rely on water dispersal for their reproduction. Usually, the seed of such plants has a tough seed coat. This helps them to float without soaking water and getting heavy.
The seed dispersal process of fruit-bearing plants is different. The birds eat fruits of these plants along with their seeds. However, the tough seeds are not digestible.
Since birds fly from one place to another, they carry these seeds within their digestive system. The seeds are dispersed at a new spot along with the bird droppings. Similar is the case with other animals.
For instance, bellbird plays a key role during seed dispersal. In addition, a few seeds have a specific hook-like design. These seeds can easily attach to an animal’s fur or skin.
Pittosporum is a sticky seed, which birds can carry away. Besides, humans can also help these plants with their seed dispersal process. Normally, these seeds stick to our clothes and shoes.
Unlike other methods explained above, this particular way of seed dispersal isn’t that impressive. There are certain plants with seedpods including gorse, peas, and flax. These pods dry out after the seeds are ready to be dispersed.
The pods suddenly split open and scatter the seeds. However, the dispersed seeds don’t go further to their parent tree. In most cases, the seeds don’t find a suitable place for their germination.
Adaptation and seed dispersal
Plant adapt to their environment to ensure their survival. Hence, adaptation tends to be an evolutionary process. It assists plants and other organisms to take advantage of their habitat.
For example, each seed dispersal method discussed above is the result of an adaptation. Mangrove trees have developed seeds that can float. Hence, they can float to reach new destinations.
Usually, storing seeds is an ancient technique to prevent a plant species from wiping out or face extinction. In addition, storing seeds is an effective and viable way to conserve a plant.
At present, the extensive expertise of scientists has allowed us to store plant seeds without being damaged. For this purpose, seed banking has turned out to be of great advantages.
This type of method is more feasible and efficient than other types of conservation options. The reason for this preference is the ability to store a wide range of seeds in a small or compact place.
Besides, seeds tend to be the most convenient way of preserving genetic diversity. The samples are relatively small and are easy to handle. They require less maintenance and can be available for a maximum period.
Usually, the low temperature and dry conditions allow the seeds to sustain for viability. In addition, seed banks are easy to set up, as they take little space. Nevertheless, running a seed bank can be expensive.
The major cost of operating a seed bank is to maintain low temperatures. Besides, it also requires hiring experts to perform different tests including growth trials, germination tests, and regeneration.
Despite the cost, seed conservation tends to be an essential activity. The strategy of preserving and conserving the biological resources of our plant is a huge responsibility.
Hence, this work should continue both at the national and international levels. A wide range of agencies, organizations, and institutes are utilizing their resources to conserve endangered and rare species.
Seeds as Healthy Diet
No doubt, seeds can serve as a great source for meeting our nutritional needs. Being a healthy diet, seeds turn out to be a perfect addition to trail mix, muesli, or salads.
Seeds contain phytonutrients, healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), and fiber. Besides, regular consumption of particular seeds can also minimize the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Hence, adding seeds to snacks and meals can be highly beneficial. Described below are the most common ways to consume seeds.
Types of Seeds
There are two types of seeds depending on their structure. They are as under:
- Dicotyledonous Seeds
- Monocotyledonous Seeds
Dicotyledonous seeds are different from monocotyledonous seeds. These seeds consist of two cotyledons. This is why these are called dicotyledonous. This type of seed consists of the following parts.
Seed coat: As the name suggests, a seed coat is the outer covering that protects the seed from getting damaged. Furthermore, the seed coat consists of two layers named “Testa” (outer) and “Tegmen” (inner layer).
Hilum: It’s a kind of scar located on the seed coat. This is the part with which the seed was attached to the fruit while it was developing.
Micropyle: It appears to be a small pore, which is present on the hilum.
Cotyledons: Generally, cotyledons are fleshy and contain reserve food for germination process.
Radicle and plumule: Both these parts are available at embryonal axis, each at one of the two ends.
Embryo: This part of the seed contains embryonal axis and two cotyledons.
Endosperm: In a few dicotyledonous seeds, the endosperm is a result of fertilization. In fact, it’s a tissue that is capable of storing food. The endosperm is not present in plants like gram, bean, and pea. Hence, these plants are referred to as non-endospermic.
The monocotyledonous seed contains only one cotyledon. Following are the different parts of this type of seed.
Seed Coat: The seed coat is a thin or membranous layer. It is usually fused with the Hull, which is a fruit wall.
Scutellum: It is a long and shield-like cotyledon.
Aleuron layer: The endosperm has an outer covering that separates the embryo by an Aleurone layer. This layer mainly consists of protein.
Embryo: Monocotyledonous seeds have a relatively small embryo. It is present in the groove located on the endosperm.
Endosperm: The endosperm is the part of a monocotyledonous seed that stores food. Usually, these seeds have endospermic. However, there are some other options that are non-endospermic.
Ways to Eat Seeds
In fact, there is no specific way of eating seeds. You can choose the most preferred way to consume seeds of your choice. For instance, seeds like pumpkin or sunflower can be eaten raw or dry-fried.
Seeds are fried in a pan without oil, this process is referred to as dry-frying. This enhances the flavor of seeds to a great extent. However, it is advised to fry only a small amount that you can consume.
Leaving the dry-fried seeds can allow the oil content of seeds to come out and affect the taste. In addition to using seeds as snacks, you can also use them for garnishing the deserts.
Below are the popular ways to consume seeds.
- You can also add texture and flavor by mixing seeds into salads
- It is also possible to add seeds to cereals and muesli
- Seeds can enhance the flavor of baked items like bread, biscuits, and cakes
- Chia seeds or Ground flaxseeds can add flavor and texture to smoothies
FAQs about Seeds
Listed below are the most frequently asked question about seeds.
Which part of the seed protects it?
Usually, plant seeds have three parts including endosperm, seed coat, and embryo. The major task of seed protection is completed by the seed coat. It prevents mechanical or physical damage to seeds.
Which microorganism causes seed destruction?
Fungi is the most destructive microorganism, which can damage a large number of seeds. This microorganism attacks the seeds when the moisture content is higher.
With the growth of fungus, the seed loses its essential parts and fails to grow. In simple words, the fungus can cause most of the seeds to rot.
The leaves of which plant protect seeds?
The leaves of the Neem plant act as a line of defense to protect their seeds from insects. These leaves contain a variety of compounds, which serve as insecticides.
For instance, Azadirachtin is one of these chemicals, which destroys insect larvae. In addition, Salanin is another component, which is a natural insect repellent.
What is an embryo?
The embryo is an essential part of a seed. Under favorable conditions, an embryo can develop into a seedling. The endosperm is also present in a seed, which assists the development and growth of an embryo.
What is a Seed Bank?
The term “Seed Bank” refers to a reasonable quantity of stored seeds. Normally, this type of storage is done on an individual and organizational basis. The seeds thus stored can be used in an event of a natural catastrophe or when the seeds are no longer available.
- Seeds serve as the staple food for the world. For instance, toast, breakfast cereal, pasta, pizza, all these food items come from the seeds of the wheat crop.
- The double coconut is the largest seed ever recorded. It is 1.6ft wider. These seeds have a fibrous cover. The space between the outer and inner parts of the coconut seed can help the seeds to float. Some of these seeds may float up to 2,000km before landing on dry land.
- There are certain orchid seedpods, which can contain over 3 million seeds.
- The frozen species of some seeds were found in Canada, which were grown and produced flowers. These seeds are estimated to be 10,000 years older or so.
- Usually, oak trees don’t yield acorns till they attain the age of 50 years. Hence, a few people can be lucky enough to plant an oak tree and eat its acorns.
- Some seeds are extremely dangerous. For example, the seeds that come from nightshade have proven deadly. Just two berries are sufficient to kill an adult human. Besides, the seeds of Castor-oil plant are more dangerous, only one bean can prove fatal.
- Kapok is a fluffy and soft material that comes from the seed case. Initially, life jackets were filled with this material. This is so, as this material is strong, light, and waterproof. However, at present, other synthetic materials have replaced it.
- The seedlings always grow upward and the roots grow down into the soil. The reason for this is the ability of plants seeds to sense gravity. In addition, when the stem comes out of the soil, it also senses the light. Hence, it continues to grow upwards towards the light.
- Seeds require moisture, the right temperature, and oxygen for their germination. If these elements are not available, the seed will stay dormant.
- There are a few seeds, which rely on light for their growth. On the contrary, there are some seeds, which only grow in the darkness.
- Plants like ferns don’t produce seeds. Instead, they bear spores. These spores are usually located under the leaves. After dropping at a perfect place, these spores will start to grow.
Seeds contain most of the nutrients required for young plants to grow. Besides, seeds also serve as a healthy diet for us and wildlife.