From seed to seed

From seed to seed


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From Seed to Seed—Plant Life Cycles  

When we talk about the life cycle of flowering plants, we are talking about the span of time between the germination of a seed and that plant’s subsequent production of seed. Let’s use the familiar green bean plant as an example. If you plant a bean seed and water it, the seed will probably germinate and within a week you’ll see a sprout. The seedling grows, and, after about six weeks, the plant enters its reproductive phase and begins to flower. These flowers, if fertilized, begin to wither and drop their petals, and soon the ovaries within the flowers begin to develop into tiny bean pods. If, instead of harvesting the beans at the "green bean" stage, you let them ripen to full size, in several weeks you’ll have bulging pods filled with large, succulent seeds. Allow these pods to fully mature and dry on the vine, and eventually the pods will split, revealing — voila! — the bean seeds within. There’s one life cycle completed, from seed to seed.

Now let’s compare the life cycles of different types of plants.


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