chapter
20 Pages

Nuts, Seeds, and Pulses

ByGeorgina Pearman

It is not surprising that reproductive plant parts (disseminules), such as seeds, nuts, and fruits, are so important as food plants. They are often rich in nutrients, because the disseminule holds the food supply that allows the seedling to grow. Equally important, seeds and nuts are often adapted to survival in the soil before germination, through modiﬁcations such as hard seed coats. These adaptations allow storage of seeds and nuts by humans, sometimes over a period of years, making these foodstuffs an important resource for seasonal scarcities and famine years.