Uses of the Seed of a Plant

Often we focus our attention on the flowers and leaves of plants, paying little attention to the dynamic potential within plant seeds. Ranging in size from a grain of sand to as large as a softball, seeds ensure more plants grow, provide nourishment and allow us to create visually interesting objects and art.

Propagation

Seeds are the natural way to grow more plants. Sown seeds that germinate become new plants that have variable genes as inherited from the male and female plant parts on the mother plant. The variation in genes in seeds increases potential for desirable changes, such as a different flower color, disease resistance or different growing habit or size.

Food

Both humans and animals benefit from the nutrition provided for by plant seeds. Wild animals, like bears, deer and squirrels, relish acorns. Domesticated animals are given dried corn or oats for food. Humans have a wide use for seeds as food sources, whether the seed is mature or developing. Sweet corn is eaten when soft, sweet and immature. The coconut seed provides milk and tasty nutmeat. Various grain seeds are pulverized to make flour and other seeds are used as spices, such as peppercorns, cardamom and poppy seed. Oil is derived from rapeseed and sunflower seeds too.

Embellishment

Tremendous variation in seed sizes, colors and textures of plant seeds allow the creativity of humans to run wild. Necklaces, bracelets and other basic jewelry can be made by stringing, boring or cutting seeds. Mosaic artwork, such as with various colored bean or pea seeds, decorate walls as well as entertain children in basic art classes.

Keywords: seeds, food sources, grain

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for "The Public Garden," "Docent Educator," non-profit newsletters and for horticultural databases, becoming a full-time writer in 2008. He holds a Master of Science in public horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne.