What is the purpose of the cotyledon?

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Angiosperms have evolved complex mechanisms to provide for protection and dispersal of their offspring. The two key features of this system are the production of embryos within seeds, and the enclosing of these seeds in ovaries which mature into fruits. Both the hard seed coat and internal nutrient supplies of seeds, and the hard or fleshy fruit create an effective buffer preventing harsh environmental conditions from causing damage to the enclosed embryo. In addition, both seeds and fruits often include specific mechanisms to facilitate seed dispersal. Fruit: a ripened ovary with seeds. Fruit types: • Dry: fruits with papery or leathery walls. • Fleshy: fruits with soft, usually moist walls. • Simple fruits develop from one carpel or carpels that are united. • Aggregate fruits are formed by flowers having several separate carpels. • Multiple fruits are a group of many fruits formed by a cluster of flowers. Seed: a fertilized ovule. • A seed coat forms from the ovule wall to protect ... more
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