A seed includes three basic sections: the seed coat, the nutritive tissue and the embryo. The seed coat protects the outside of the seed, allowing germination to occur under the proper conditions. The nutritive layer provides nutrition to the newly formed plant until the root system is developed. At the core of the seed, the embryo is the young sporophyte plant. The embryo is the part of the seed that grows into a new plant.
Germination begins the growth of the embryo at the center of a seed. When conditions are correct, the seed coat triggers germination. The thickness of the seed coat helps to give the seed a set period of dormancy, especially in plants with seasonal habits. The addition of warmth and moisture provides the proper conditions for the majority of seeds to germinate. The seed will swell, allowing for the emergence of a root and the first leaves, known as cotylendons.
Following germination, plants move from a seedling stage to a mature plant. Different plants feature different heights, leaf structures and other identifying characteristics. The length of the growing phase varies greatly depending on type of flower, climate and growing conditions. Plants without adequate sunlight, nutrition or moisture may be stunted and delayed developmentally.
Flower buds emerge as the plant reaches the appropriate maturity. Depending on the species of plant, the flower buds may be set on new or old growth. Plants that set flowers on old growth frequently do not bloom until the second growing year. Each species of flowering plant features flowers specifically designed for pollination purposes.
Brightly colored flowers attract butterflies and bees. White, fragrant flowers attract moths and beetles at night. The flower stage of a plant is key to producing seeds for reproduction. Without the proper pollination, the plant is unable to survive in a given area.
Essential in the production of new plants, seed development occurs once pollen reaches the ovaries through the pollination process. Embryogenesis takes a single cell and transforms it into a seed. Seeds are then harvested or scattered by various means to begin the process again.