Spring sprouts

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring is the season of new beginnings and, for plant life, seeds get everything started.

Do you know the terminology for the evolution of a plant from its seed to maturity? It really seems like magic when seeds emerge into tiny plants after only a few days.

When seeds are planted, they first grow roots, which anchor plants in the soil. Once roots develop, a small plant will begin to emerge and eventually break through the soil. When this happens, we say that the seed has sprouted and the scientific name for this whole process is germination.

A sprout is also a noun: it’s the shoot of a plant. With the correct amount of water and sunshine, the shoot (or sprout) grows and different parts of the plant develop: the stem, leaves, flowers and fruits.

The stem is the stalk of the plant. It helps the plant stand upright. It carries water and minerals from the roots to the leaves and carries food prepared by the leaves to the different parts of the plant.

The leaves take in light that the plant uses to make food (photosynthesis). Flowers, the reproductive parts of the plant, continue the life cycle by either turning into fruits with seeds, or by simply carrying seeds so other plants can grow.

So here we are back to where we started, with the little seed. Even though they’re small, seeds contain food and all the instructions necessary to become a plant. I wish I could exist so efficiently.

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