Seeds: Plants in Suspended Animation

Last month we talked about plant sex. If you missed that post, you can read it here. I’ll also post the same diagram from last time, from the University of Illinois Extension, so you can refer to it as we go along:flower12Imagine that the flowers in your garden are in full bloom. (I know, it’s still winter, but you can pretend.) The bees have been busy, and pollen from an anther has arrived at another flower’s stigma.  Now what?

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Where (plant) Babies Come From

Every spring, gardeners go out to plant. We prepare the soil and carefully bury a tiny seed. We might water, if the soil is dry. Mostly, we watch and wait. We fully expect that seed to germinate and grow to maturity. But what is actually happening beneath the warming soil? What is a seed, anyway? How does it know when to break dormancy and germinate? How does it know which way to grow? Since spring is approaching, I thought I’d write a series of posts on seeds—where they come from, what they are, what happens to make them grow. Continue reading “Where (plant) Babies Come From”