Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Types of Plant Seeds

Botanists divide plants into two large categories: plants that create seeds, and plants that do not. Seed-producing plants are then divided into two more categories. These plants are classified as either gymnosperms, which produce seeds in cones, and angiosperms, which produce seeds in flowers. These two classifications of plants produce the two main types of seeds: naked and enclosed. There are other, less common types of seeds as well.

Enclosed Seeds

Angiosperms (flowering plants) produce enclosed seeds, which are enclosed by an ovary. In most cases, the ovary becomes the fruit of the plant as the seed ripens. The fruit is meant to protect the seed. An apple seed is an enclosed seed, as are peas, (the ovary develops into the pod) and poppies, which also produce a large pod around the seeds.

  • Botanists divide plants into two large categories: plants that create seeds, and plants that do not.
  • An apple seed is an enclosed seed, as are peas, (the ovary develops into the pod) and poppies, which also produce a large pod around the seeds.

Naked Seeds

Gymnosperms produce naked seeds. Gymnosperms are more commonly called conifers because the plants produce cones. The seeds are created on the upper surface of the cones, which fold up to form a hard, protective covering as the seeds ripen. When they are ripe, the cones open, and the seeds may scatter on the wind, or drop to the ground with the cones, or even attach themselves to the bodies of animals such as birds and squirrels.

Other Types of Seeds

Some seeds are not protected by a fleshy fruit, pod or other covering, and are not produced "naked" in a cone. Grain plants are unique in that the ovary and seed actually merge together, creating a kernel. When you eat corn, you are actually eating the seed of the plant. Other "seeds," such as sunflower seeds, are not really seeds at all, but the hard fruit of the plant. The actual seed of a sunflower seed is obtained after the hard shell of the fruit is cracked open. Many types of nuts, such as an acorn, are also hard fruits; the nut is actually the seed of the plant.

  • Gymnosperms produce naked seeds.
  • Many types of nuts, such as an acorn, are also hard fruits; the nut is actually the seed of the plant.

Related Articles

Types of Tree Seeds
Types of Tree Seeds
Facts About Fruit Seeds
Facts About Fruit Seeds
Flowering Plants Characteristics
Flowering Plants Characteristics
Facts About Seed Plants
Facts About Seed Plants
What Are Four Characteristics of Seed Plants?
What Are Four Characteristics of Seed Plants?
Parts of the Wheat Seed
Parts of the Wheat Seed
What Part of the Plant Produces Pollen?
What Part of the Plant Produces Pollen?
Life Cycle of the Cocoa Tree
Life Cycle of the Cocoa Tree
Names of Seed Plants
Names of Seed Plants
Difference Between Flowering & Non Flowering Plants
Difference Between Flowering & Non Flowering Plants
How to Harvest Chinese Lantern Seeds
How to Harvest Chinese Lantern Seeds
Examples of Plants Without Seeds
Examples of Plants Without Seeds
Life Cycle of a Kidney Bean
Life Cycle of a Kidney Bean
The Parts of a Growing Bean Seed
The Parts of a Growing Bean Seed
How to Tell If Sunflower Seeds Are Ready to Harvest
How to Tell If Sunflower Seeds Are Ready to Harvest
Types of Pods in Nature
Types of Pods in Nature
Garden Guides
×