cotyledon


cotyledon

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(Top) Monocotyledon (internal structures of a corn seed with stages of germination). Nutrients are …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Seed leaf within the embryo of a seed that provides energy and nutrients for the developing seedling. After the first true leaves have formed, they wither and fall off. Flowering plants whose embryos have a single cotyledon are grouped as monocots, or monocotyledonous plants; embryos with two cotyledons are grouped as dicots, or dicotyledonous plants. Unlike flowering plants, gymnosperms usually have several cotyledons rather than one or two.

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