Today in Open Garden time we dissected Broad Bean seeds and almonds to examine the structures you can find inside a seed. Here’s a quick rundown of the process for those of you who weren’t able to be with us today.
- Several pods of Broad Beans
- Food dye
- Towels for blotting dye
We first slit open the pods to examine the structures that hold and protect the seeds. You can see a picture of an almond “fruit” that would hold the almond “seed” you are familiar with here.
We examined the outer casing of the seed and the nut, called the “seed coat,” noting the differences, then carefully slit the seed coat on the long side of the seed or nut. That allowed us to carefully pry apart both the bean and the almond.
Here’s what we found inside the Broad Bean. One side came away clean and the other side has the plant embryo attached to it.
It wasn’t as easy to see things as we had hoped so we added a little bit of food dye to bring out the contrast. (Thanks for the tip, Mary!)
Look carefully. Can you see the tiny “seed leaves” folded up at the tip of the seed?
Here’s what the almond looked like.
Most of what you see is the cotyledon, the food stored inside the seed for the emerging plant to live on. That’s what makes seeds such nutritious food.
You can experiment at home with different kinds of seeds and see which ones give you the best view of their internal workings. If you’d like to share your results here on the blog, you can do that too.