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Final Fantasy VIII
The box cover of the PlayStation version of the game, showing three figures (from left to right a man, a woman, and a man) looking away from the viewer at different angles. The game's logo floats above them, while the background consists of a faded image of a woman wearing an elaborate costume.
North American box art showing the characters Squall, Rinoa, and Seifer, with Edea in the background
Developer(s) Square
Publisher(s) JP Square
NA Square Electronic Arts
PAL Square Europe (PlayStation)
EU Eidos Interactive (Windows)
Designer(s) Yoshinori Kitase
Artist(s) Tetsuya Nomura
Yusuke Naora
Writer(s) Kazushige Nojima
Composer(s) Nobuo Uematsu
Series Final Fantasy
Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, PocketStation, PlayStation Network
Release date(s) PlayStation
JP February 11, 1999
NA September 9, 1999
PAL October 27, 1999
NA January 25, 2000
EU February 18, 2000
JP March 23, 2000
PlayStation Network
JP September 24, 2009
NA December 17, 2009
EU February 4, 2010[1]
Genre(s) Console role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) CERO: B
ELSPA: 11+
OFLC: M15+
PEGI: 16
Media 4 CD-ROMs (PlayStation)
5 CD-ROMs (Windows)
System requirements Windows
266 MHz Intel Pentium II CPU, 64 MB RAM, video card with 4 MB RAM, 8X CD-ROM drive, 300MB free hard disk space, DirectX 6.1, Windows 95 operating system or above
Input methods Gamepad, keyboard, mouse

Final Fantasy VIII (ファイナルファンタジーVIII Fainaru Fantajī Eito?) is a console role-playing game released for the PlayStation in 1999 and for Windows-based personal computers in 2000. It was developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) as the Final Fantasy series' eighth title, removing magic point-based spell-casting and the first title to consistently use realistically proportioned characters.

The game's story focuses on a group of young mercenaries who are drawn into an international conflict, and seek to protect the world from a sorceress manipulating the war for her own purposes. The main protagonist is Squall Leonhart, a 17-year-old loner and student at the military academy Balamb Garden, who is training to become a "SeeD", a mercenary paid by the academy.

The development of Final Fantasy VIII began in 1997, during the English localization process of Final Fantasy VII. The music was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, series regular, and in a series first, the theme music is a vocal piece, "Eyes on Me", performed by Faye Wong. The game was positively received by critics and was a commercial success. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Thirteen weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title of all time. The game has shipped 8.15 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2003.[2]

The game became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in Japan on September 24, 2009, in the US on December 17, 2009, and in Europe on February 4, 2010.



Like any Final Fantasy before it, Final Fantasy VIII consists of three main modes of play: the world map, the field map, and the battle screen. The world map is a 3D display in which the player may navigate freely across a small-scale rendering of the game world. Characters travel across the world map in a variety of ways, including by foot, car, Chocobo, train, and airship. The field map consists of controllable 3D characters overlaid on one or more 2D pre-rendered backgrounds, which represent environmental locations such as towns or forests. The battle screen is a 3D model of a location such as a street or room, where turn-based fights between playable characters and CPU-controlled enemies take place. The interface is menu-driven, as in previous titles, but with the typical weapon and armor systems removed and new features present, such as the Junction system. Also featured is a collectible card-based minigame called "Triple Triad."[3]

Junction system

Three characters in a battle with a monster which resembles a mechanical spider. A gray menu at the bottom of the image shows the characters' health and bars representing the time left until they can act.
A battle against X-ATM092, an early boss; Zell will summon Shiva when the blue bar that has replaced his ATB is drained.

For Final Fantasy VIII, Hiroyuki Ito designed a battle system based on summon-able monsters, called "Guardian Forces", abbreviated in-game as "GF." Assigning ("junctioning") a GF onto a character allows the player to use battle commands beyond Attack with the main weapon, such as Magic, GF (to summon the junctioned GF and have it perform an action), and Item. While previous Final Fantasy titles provided each character with a limited pool of magic points that were consumed by each spell, in Final Fantasy VIII, spells are acquired ("drawn") either from enemies in battle, Draw Points distributed throughout the game's environments, or by refining items and cards. Spells are then stocked on characters as quantified inventory (up to 100 per spell and limited to 32 distinct spells per character) and are consumed one by one when used. Characters can also junction these spells onto their statistics—such as Strength, Vitality, and Luck—for various bonuses, provided the character has junctioned a Guardian Force.[4] The junction system's flexibility affords the player a wide range of customization options.

The character designer of the Guardian Forces, Tetsuya Nomura, felt they should be unique beings, without clothes or other human-like concepts. This was problematic, as Nomura did not want them to "become the actual monsters", so he took great care in their design. Leviathan was the first GF, created as a test and included in a game demo. After it received a positive reaction from players, Nomura decided to create the remaining sequences in a similar fashion.[5] The use of summoned creatures for anything other than a single devastating attack during battle was a significant departure for the Final Fantasy series. The junction system also acts as a substitute for armor and accessories used in previous titles to enhance the characters' statistics. Moreover, where earlier titles required weapons to be equipped and tailored to the character, each major character in Final Fantasy VIII features a unique weapon which can be upgraded, affecting its appearance, power, and Limit Break.[6]

Limit Breaks

Characters in Final Fantasy VIII have unique special attacks called "Limit Breaks", as in Final Fantasy VII. While the Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy VII are triggered after sufficient damage has been received, in Final Fantasy VIII, the availability of Limit Breaks depends on a character's current health—a Limit Break is more likely to be available to a character with low health. The magic spell Aura increases the probability of Limit Breaks appearing, regardless of a character's remaining hit points, while various status afflictions can prevent Limit Breaks. They are similar to the Desperation Attacks of Final Fantasy VI, as they are randomly triggered when a character's health falls below a certain level and his or her Hit Points are in yellow instead of white.[7]

Final Fantasy VIII also introduced interactive elements to complement Limit Break animations. These interactive sequences, which vary between character, weapon, and Limit Break range from randomly selected magic spells to precisely timed button inputs. Successfully completing an interactive sequence increases the resulting attack's potency.[8]

Experience levels

An overhead shot of three figures running through a jungle-like setting; a metal door and wire fences are visible above them.
An example of navigation on the field map

Final Fantasy VIII used an experience point and level system quite different from previous games in the series. While EXP is awarded after battling and defeating enemies, who are predominantly encountered randomly, and contribute to the continued strengthening and level-gaining of the characters, here the similarity ends. While levels in previous games required ever-increasing amounts of EXP to surmount (e.g., getting to level 2 might require 200 experience points, level 3 might require 400, etc), characters in Final Fantasy VIII gain a level after accumulating 1000 points. Enemies around the world, furthermore, remain on equal levels with the characters, as opposed to most RPGs, where enemies from previously-visited locations in the game are often weak and easily defeated. Higher-level enemies are capable of inflicting and withstanding significantly more damage, may have additional special attacks, and carry additional magic spells, allowing for Junctioning bonuses which themselves far exceed the bonuses imparted by level-gain.

In addition to gaining levels, Guardian Forces earn Ability Points (AP) after battles, which are automatically allocated to special abilities that Guardian Forces can learn. When a Guardian Force has learned an ability, that ability becomes available for any character or the character party, as is the case with field abilities. These abilities allow characters to attack more efficiently, refine magic spells from items, receive stat bonuses upon leveling up, access shops remotely and use additional battle commands.[6][9]



Most of Final Fantasy VIII is set on an unnamed fantasy world with one moon. The planet comprises five major landmasses, with Esthar, the largest, covering most of the eastern portion of the map.[10] Galbadia, the second-largest continent, lies to the west,[10] and contains many of the game's locations. The northernmost landmass is Trabia, an Arctic region. Positioned roughly in the middle of the world map lies Balamb, the smallest continent,[10] the island on which the game begins. The remaining landmass is small and mostly desolate, riddled with rough, rocky terrain caused by the impact of a "Lunar Cry", an event where monsters from the moon fall to the planet.[11][12] The southernmost landmass includes an archipelago of broken sections of land that have drifted apart. Islands and marine structures flesh out the rest of the game world, and a handful of off-world locations round out the game's playable areas.

As part of a theme desired by director Yoshinori Kitase to give the game a foreign atmosphere, various designs were given to its locations using the style of internationally familiar places, while also maintaining a fantasy atmosphere. Inspiration ranged from ancient Egyptian and Greek architecture, to the city of Paris, France, to an idealized futuristic European society. Flags were also given to some factions, their designs based on the group's history and culture.[5] In contrast, in an interview with the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Kitase stated that Triple Triad was added to the game because cards were a popular hobby in Japan.[13]

In an interview with Famitsu, art director Yusuke Naora described that the game was generally designed to be a "bright, fresh Final Fantasy."[14] The designers felt a need to invert the atmosphere of previous games in the series, which had feelings of "light emerging from darkness".[14] This decision was easy for the developers to make, because most of them had worked on Final Fantasy VII and felt that a new direction was acceptable.[13] The world designs were also developed with the knowledge that most of the staff were now used to computer graphics, which was not the case with Final Fantasy VII.[14] The developers also noted that with Final Fantasy VIII, they attempted to "mix future, real life and fantasy."[14]


The six main playable characters in Final Fantasy VIII are Squall Leonhart, a loner who keeps his focus on his duty to avoid vulnerability; Rinoa Heartilly, an outspoken and passionate young woman who follows her heart in all situations; Quistis Trepe, an instructor with a serious, patient attitude; Zell Dincht, a martial artist with a passion for hot dogs; Selphie Tilmitt, a cheerful girl who loves trains and pilots the airship Ragnarok; and Irvine Kinneas, a marksman and consummate ladies' man.[3] Temporarily playable characters include Laguna Loire, Kiros Seagill, and Ward Zabac, who appear in "flashback" sequences, and antagonists Seifer Almasy and Edea Kramer.

During the game's pre-production, character designer Tetsuya Nomura suggested the game be given a "school days" feel. Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima already had a story in mind in which the main characters were the same age; their ideas meshed, taking form as the "Garden" military academies. Nojima planned that the two playable parties featured in the game (Squall's present day group and Laguna's group from the past) would be highly contrasted with one another. This idea was conveyed through the age and experience of Laguna's group, versus the youth and naïveté of Squall's group.[5]

To maintain a foreign atmosphere, the characters were designed to have predominantly European appearances. The first Final Fantasy VIII character designed was Squall. Desiring to add a unique angle to Squall's appearance and emphasize his role as the central character, Nomura gave him a scar across his brow and the bridge of his nose. As there was not yet a detailed history conceived for the character, Nomura left the explanation for Squall's scar to Nojima. Squall was given a gunblade, a fictional revolversword hybrid that functions primarily as a sword, with an added damaging vibration feature activated by use of its gun mechanism,[15] similar to a vibroblade.[16] His character design was complemented by a fur lining along the collar of his jacket, incorporated by Nomura as a challenge for the game's full motion video designers.[5]

With Final Fantasy VIII came the inclusion of some designs Nomura had previously drawn, but had not yet used in a Final Fantasy game. These were the designs of Edea, Fujin and Raijin. The latter two had originally been designed for use in Final Fantasy VII, but with the inclusion of the Turks characters in that game, it was felt that Fujin and Raijin were unnecessary. Nomura had designed Edea before the development of Final Fantasy VII, based on the style of Yoshitaka Amano.[5]


Final Fantasy VIII begins as Squall duels with Seifer in a training session outside the Balamb Garden military academy. Meanwhile, the Galbadian regime invades the Dollet Dukedom, forcing Dollet to hire assistance from the Balamb Garden branch of "SeeD", Garden's elite mercenary force. SeeD uses the mission as a final examination for its cadets;[17] with the help of his instructor, Quistis, Squall passes its prerequisite and is grouped with Seifer and Zell. Seifer disobeys orders and abandons his team, forcing Selphie to accompany Squall and Zell for the duration of the mission. After the mission, SeeD halts the Galbadian advance; Squall, Zell, and Selphie graduate to SeeD status while Seifer is disciplined for his disobedience.[18] During the graduation party, Squall meets Rinoa, whose personality is apparently the opposite of his.[19] When assigned with Zell and Selphie to help Rinoa's Galbadian resistance, Squall learns that a sorceress named Edea is behind Galbadia's hostilities. Under orders from Balamb and Galbadia Gardens, Squall and his comrades—now joined by Rinoa, Quistis, and Irvine—attempt to assassinate Edea.[20] However, the sorceress thwarts the attempt, and the party is detained. Squall's party also learns that Seifer has left Garden to become Edea's second-in-command.[21]

After the team escapes, Edea launches a missile attack on Trabia Garden. Fearing that Balamb Garden is the next target of Edea's revenge, the team splits into two units. Squall's group returns to Balamb to warn of the attack, but must first stop an internal conflict incited by NORG, SeeD's financier.[22] Selphie's team travels to the Missile Base to stop the launch, but fails. Squall inadvertently turns Balamb Garden into a mobile fortress, allowing the facility to evade the missiles; however, he loses control, and Garden collides with the docks at Fishermans Horizon.[23] While local technicians repair the Garden, Galbadians invade in search of a girl named Ellone,[24] who had been staying at Balamb Garden until recently. Ellone eventually escapes to Esthar, the world's technological superpower. During Squall's meeting with Ellone, he learns that she had been "sending" him and his allies into flashbacks set 17 years in the past in a vain effort to alter the present.[25] The scenes center on Laguna and his two friends, Kiros and Ward. During the flashbacks, Laguna changes from a Galbadian soldier to the defender of a country village, and then from leader of a resistance movement against Sorceress Adel to president of Esthar.[26]

Meanwhile, Squall confronts his personal anxieties fueled by ongoing developments,[27] such as Headmaster Cid appointing him as SeeD's new leader,[28] and his increasing attraction to Rinoa. While investigating Trabia Garden's wreckage, Squall and his comrades learn that they, along with Seifer and Ellone, were all raised (with the exception of Rinoa) in an orphanage run by Edea; they later developed amnesia due to their use of Guardian Forces.[29] It is also revealed that Cid and Edea had established Garden and SeeD primarily to defeat corrupt sorceresses.[30] After these revelations, the forces of Balamb Garden and the Galbadian army, led by Squall and Seifer respectively, engage in battle above the orphanage. After Balamb defeats Galbadia, the player learns that Edea is merely an unwilling tool for "Ultimecia",[31] a powerful sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time into a single moment; it is for this reason she has sought Ellone.[32] Edea loses a decisive battle against the SeeD, forcing Ultimecia to transfer her powers to Rinoa; Edea survives, but Rinoa enters a coma. Squall becomes obsessed with waking her and goes to Esthar to find Ellone, as he believes that she can help save Rinoa.[33]

While Rinoa is being treated on Esthar's space station, Ultimecia uses her to free Sorceress Adel from her orbital prison. Ultimecia then orders Seifer to activate the Lunatic Pandora facility, inciting a rain of creatures from the moon that sends Adel's containment device to the planet.[34][35] Having selected Adel as her next host, Ultimecia abandons Rinoa in outer space. Squall rescues her, and they return to the planet on a derelict starship. Upon their landing, delegates from Esthar isolate Rinoa for fear of her sorceress abilities,[36] forcing Squall to rescue her. President Laguna apologizes for the incident and announces Dr. Odine's plan to let Ultimecia possess Rinoa, have Ellone send Rinoa (and thus Ultimecia as well) to the past and then retrieve only Rinoa back to the present, enabling Ultimecia to achieve Time Compression, as it would allow Squall's group to confront Ultimecia in her time.[37] To do this, Squall's team infiltrates Lunatic Pandora, defeats Seifer and Adel, and has Rinoa inherit Adel's sorceress powers.[38] Time Compression is thus initiated; Squall and his allies travel to Ultimecia's era and defeat her.

With Ultimecia defeated, the universe begins returning to normal; however, Squall is nearly lost in the flow of time as he witnesses the origins of the game's story. When a dying Ultimecia travels back in time to pass her powers to Edea, Squall informs Edea of the concepts of Garden and SeeD that she will create.[39] Afterward, he is able to properly recollect his memories and was able to regain consciousness and thus return to the present. The ending cinema depicts the events after Squall's return to the present. Seifer is once again reunited with Raijin and Fujin; Laguna visits Raine's grave (and recollects his proposal to her) along with Ellone, Ward, and Kiros; and a celebration takes place in the Garden, with Squall and Rinoa kissing one another under the moonlight.


Development of Final Fantasy VIII began in 1997 during the English language translation of Final Fantasy VII.[14] As with much of the production of Final Fantasy VII, series creator and veteran Hironobu Sakaguchi served as the executive producer, working primarily on the development of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and leaving direction of Final Fantasy VIII to Yoshinori Kitase.[40] Shinji Hashimoto was assigned to be the producer in Sakaguchi's place. From the beginning, Kitase knew he wanted a thematic combination of fantasy and realism. To this end, he aimed to include a cast of characters who appeared to be ordinary people. Character designer and battle visual director Tetsuya Nomura and art director Yusuke Naora strove to achieve this impression through the inclusion of realistically proportioned characters—a departure from the super deformed designs used in the previous title. Additionally, Naora attempted to enhance the realism of the world through predominantly bright lighting effects with shadows distributed as appropriate. Other measures taken included implementing rental cars for travel in-game,[14] and the use of motion capture technology to give the game's characters lifelike movements in the game's full motion video sequences.[13]

Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima has expressed that the dynamic of players' relationships with the protagonist is important to him. Both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII feature reserved, quiet protagonists in the form of Cloud Strife and Squall. With Final Fantasy VIII, however, Nojima worked to give players actual insight into what the character was thinking; a direct contrast with his handling of Final Fantasy VII, which encouraged the player to speculate.[41] This approach to Final Fantasy VIII is reflected by the frequent use of dialogue that takes place solely within Squall's mind, allowing the player to read his thoughts and understand what he is thinking or feeling even when he keeps those thoughts to himself.

In 1999, the ballroom dance scene of Final Fantasy VIII was featured as a technical demo for the PlayStation 2.[42] In 2000, a PC version was released for Windows. This port featured smoother graphics, enhanced audio, and the inclusion of Chocobo World, a minigame starring Boko, a Chocobo featured in one of the side-quests in Final Fantasy VIII.[43] For most North American and European players, the PC version of the game was the only means of playing Chocobo World, as the game was originally designed to be played via the PocketStation, a handheld console never released outside Japan.[43][44][45] In 2009, Final Fantasy VIII was added to the PlayStation Store on the PlayStation Network.[46]


Regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu wrote the soundtrack for Final Fantasy VIII. He tried to base the songs off of the emotional content of when they would be played, asserting that expressing the emotions he desires is more important than improving skills: "I think it will be a shame if we won't be able to cry as we play our own game". He could not determine a character's emotions solely based on the plot, instead using images of appearance and attire—"It's important to know when their emotions are at their height, but it usually takes until a month before release for them to finish the ending dialog...!"[47] In response to a question by IGN music stating that the music of Final Fantasy VIII was very dark and perhaps influenced by the plot of the game, Uematsu stated "the atmosphere of music varies depending on story line, of course, but it's also my intention to put various types of music into one game".[48] The absence of character themes found in the previous two games was due to Uematsu finding those of Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII ineffective. Uematsu considers it reasonable to have character themes if each character has a "highlight" in the game, but he found Final Fantasy VIII only focused on Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly as a couple, resulting in the "Eyes on Me" theme.[48]

The original soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan on March 10, 1999, and by Square EA in North America as Final Fantasy VIII Music Collection in January 2000.[49] It was republished worldwide by Square Enix on May 10, 2004.[50] An album of orchestral arrangements of selected tracks from the game was released under the title Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec Final Fantasy VIII on November 19, 1999 by DigiCube, and subsequently published on July 22, 2004 by Square Enix. The pieces were arranged and conducted by Shiro Hamaguchi for a live orchestra.[51] A collection of piano arrangements performed by Shinko Ogata was released under the title Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VIII by DigiCube on January 21, 2000 and subsequently re-published by Square Enix on July 22, 2004.[52]

The score is best known for two songs: "Liberi Fatali", a Latin choral piece that is played during the introduction to the game, and "Eyes On Me", a pop song serving as the game's theme, performed by Chinese singer Faye Wong. Near the end of the production of Final Fantasy VII, the developers suggested to use a singer, but abandoned the idea due to a lack of reasoning based on the game's theme and storyline.[53] However, Nobuo Uematsu thought a ballad would closely relate to the theme and characters of Final Fantasy VIII. This resulted in the game's developers sharing "countless" artists, eventually deciding on Wong. Uematsu claims "her voice and mood seem to match my image of the song exactly", and that her ethnicity "fits the international image of Final Fantasy". After negotiations were made, "Eyes on Me" was recorded in Hong Kong with an orchestra.[47] The song was released as a CD single in Japan and sold over 400,000 copies,[54] setting the record for highest-selling video game music disc ever released in that country at the time. "Liberi Fatali" was played during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens during the women's synchronized swimming event.[55]

The music of Final Fantasy VIII has appeared in various official Final Fantasy concerts. These include 2002's 20020220 Music from FINAL FANTASY, in which the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra played "Liberi Fatali", "Don't Be Afraid", "Love Grows", and "The Man with the Machine Gun", the 2004 Tour de Japon series, which featured "The Oath", the Dear Friends series that began that same year and included "Liberi Fatali" and "Love Grows", and the 2005 More Friends concert, which included "Maybe I'm a Lion".[56][57][58][59] More recent concerts include the Voices – Music from Final Fantasy 2006 concert showcasing "Liberi Fatali", "Fisherman's Horizon", and "Eyes on Me" and the international Distant Worlds concert tour that continues to date, which includes "Liberi Fatali", "Fisherman's Horizon", "Man with the Machine Gun", and "Love Grows".[60][61] Several of these concerts have produced live albums as well.[62] Music from the game has also been played in non Final Fantasy-specific concerts such as the Play! A Video Game Symphony world tour from 2006 onwards, for which Nobuo Uematsu composed the opening fanfare that accompanies each performance.[63]

Reception and legacy

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 89.57% (PS)[64]
79.5% (PC)[65]
Metacritic 90 out of 100[66]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 9 out of 10[67]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 95 out of 100[68]
Game Informer 9.5 out of 10
GameSpot 9.5 out of 10 (PS)[69]
6.7 out of 10 (PC)[70]
GameSpy 90 out of 100 (PC)[71]
IGN 9 out of 10 (PS)[72]
7.4 out of 10 (PC)[73]
Maximum PC 9 out of 10[74]
Computer Gaming World 2 out of 5 (PC)[75]
Entity Award
IGN Best RPG of E3 1999[76]
Computer Gaming World 20th Best Game of 2000[77]
IGN 7th Best PlayStation Game[78]

Final Fantasy VIII received positive reviews from critics and was commercially successful. Within two days of its North American release on September 9, 1999, Final Fantasy VIII became the top-selling video game in the United States, a position it held for more than three weeks.[79] It grossed a total of more than $50 million in the 13 weeks to follow,[80][81] making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title.[82] In Japan, it sold roughly 2.5 million units within the first four days of release.[83] More than 6 million units were sold in total by the end of 1999.[84] As of March 31, 2003, the game had shipped 8.15 million copies worldwide: 3.7 million in Japan and 4.45 million abroad.[2] The opening cut scene in Final Fantasy VIII was ranked second on Game Informer's list of "Top 10 Video Game Openings",[85] and first by IGN.[78] IGN additionally named the game's ending the third best of any game for the PlayStation,[78] while named it one of th series' best and most memorable moments.[86] Final Fantasy VIII was voted by readers of Japanese magazine Famitsu as the 22nd best game of all time in 2006,[87] and named one of the 20 essential Japanese role-playing games by Gamasutra, stating "[t]here's a lot that Final Fantasy VIII does wrong, but there's even more that it does right".[88]

Reviews of the gameplay have been mixed. IGN felt that it was the weakest aspect of the game, citing its Guardian Force attack sequences as "incredibly cinematic" but tedious,[72] sentiments echoed by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[68] They also regarded the battle system as intensely complicated, yet refreshingly innovative and something that "RPG fanatics love to obsess over".[72] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine claims that the game's Junction system is a major flaw due to repetitive stocking of spells,[89] while the UK-based video game magazine Edge commented that the battle system consists of a "bewildering" number of intricate options and techniques that "most gamers will [...] relish".[67] GameSpot praised the game's battle system, commenting that the "possibilities for customization [with the Junction system] are immense".[69]

In general, Final Fantasy VIII has been compared favorably to its predecessors. Though questioning the game's lack of voice overs for its characters, Game Revolution praised its storyline and ending.[90] For their part, Edge labeled Final Fantasy VIII "a far more accomplished game than FFVII". On the other hand, the magazine also felt that the game's length left its story unable to "offer consistently strong dialogue and sub-plots". Additionally, it found some of the story's plot twists "not... suitably manipulated and prepared", leaving it "hard not to greet such... moments with anything but indifference". Overall, Edge considered Final Fantasy VIII to be "yet another outstanding edition of SquareSoft's far-from-final fantasies", summarizing it as "aesthetically astonishing, rarely less than compelling, and near peerless in scope and execution".[67] Electronic Gaming Monthly offered similar comments, stating that the game's character development "is the best of any RPG's" and that "Final Fantasy VIII is the pinnacle of its genre."[68] stated that while no other game in the series had stirred the controversy that Final Fantasy VIII had and that it was flawed, Final Fantasy VIII was a "daring, groundbreaking game [...] decidedly the most original console-style RPG ever created".[91] In 2002, IGN named the game the seventh best title for the PlayStation of all time, placing higher on the list than Final Fantasy VII and described as "[taking] all of its strong points, and [making] them better".[78]

The PC port received mixed reception. Maximum PC praised the full motion video sequences as "phenomenal", adding that while the gameplay took getting used to, they enjoyed the teamwork emphasized by it, and that the game's visual presentation added to its appeal.[74] GameSpy stated that while the game was not a "huge leap forward" from the previous title, its gameplay and visual appeal worked for its benefit, though that on a computer the pre-rendered backgrounds appeared blurry and the controls at time difficult with a keyboard.[71][92] GameSpot criticized the game for not taking advantage of the capabilities afforded to computers at the time, describing the PlayStation version as both looking and sounding superior, and recommending that the title was not worth buying period for the PC.[70] also described the port as inferior to its original counterpart, adding that its presentation was in turn detrimental to the reception the game received as a whole.[91] Computer Gaming World praised some of the changes made to the game in light of previous titles and the inclusion of the Triple Triad sub-game, though heavily criticized the port as "lazy" and "disappointing", stating that it only served to emphasize the original game's flaws.[75] Despite their complaints however, they named the game the twentieth best game of 2000.[77]

In March 1999, one month after the game's release, Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania was published, a book that features an in-depth guide to Final Fantasy VIII and interviews with the developers.[93] An origami book was released in November 1999.[94] On September 22, 1999, a CD-ROM titled Final Fantasy VIII Desktop Accessories was released. It contains desktop icons, computer wallpapers, screensavers, and an e-mail application. Additionally, Final Fantasy VIII Desktop Accessories features an edition of the Triple Triad minigame from Final Fantasy VIII, creating the ability to play against opponents via a local area network.[95]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Titles of game software with worldwide shipments exceeding 1 million copies" (PDF). Square Enix. p. 27. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  3. ^ a b Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 20, 24, 36. SLUS-00892GH. 
  4. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 28, 33–35. SLUS-00892GH. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. pp. 354–355. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  6. ^ a b Cassady, David (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 1-56686-903-X. 
  7. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 64. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  8. ^ Cassady, David (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide. BradyGAMES Publishing. pp. 6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18–19. ISBN 1-56686-903-X. 
  9. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 28–35. SLUS-00892GH. 
  10. ^ a b c "Final Fantasy VIII – World". Square Enix. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  11. ^ Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Centra Civilization A civilization in Centra 4000 years ago. These Centra people emigrated to other continents and founded the Dollet Empire to the west and Esthar to the east. Centra was destroyed 80 years ago by the Lunar Cry."
  12. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 40. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  13. ^ a b c Staff (February 2001). "Final Fantasy VIII Kitase, Nojima, Naora and Nomura Interview". Official UK PlayStation Magazine (71). Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Staff (5 June 1998). "インタビュー ファイナルファンタジーVIII [Interview with Final Fantasy VIII]" (in Japanese). Famitsu Weekly. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  15. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/SquareEnix. p. 43. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
  16. ^ Samoon, Evan (July 2008). "Gun Show: A real military expert takes aim at videogame weaponry to reveal the good, the bad, and the just plain silly". Electronic Gaming Monthly (230): 49. 
  17. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Xu: Our client for this mission is the Dollet Dukedom Parliament. A request for SeeD was made 18 hours ago. Dollet has been under attack by the G-Army since about 72 hours ago."
  18. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Headmaster Cid: Seifer. You will be disciplined for your irresponsible behavior. You must follow orders exactly during combat. But I'm not entirely without sympathy for you. I don't want you all to become machines. I want you all to be able to think and act for yourselves."
  19. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 6–9. SLUS-00892GH. 
  20. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Our next mission... This is no ordinary mission. It's a direct order from both Balamb and Galbadia Garden. We're to... ...assassinate the sorceress."
  21. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: So, you've become the sorceress' lap dog? / Seifer: I preferred to be called her knight. This has always been my dream."
  22. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Raijin: I dunno. At first, they were sayin' somethin' 'bout roundin' up the SeeDs, ya know!? Now, everyone's either sidin' with the Garden Master or the headmaster and fightin' everywhere, ya know!?"
  23. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: I'm terribly sorry. It was inevitable... We lost control of the Garden."
  24. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Oh, and one more thing... It appeared that the Galbadians were searching for Ellone. That seemed to be their main objective in FH."
  25. ^ Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Ellone: People say you can't change the past. But even still, if there's a possibility, it's worth a try, right?"
  26. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Laguna: A fierce debate ensued about who should govern this country after Adel was gone. I wasn't paying close attention while they made me up to be this hero of the revolution, and I ended up being president."
  27. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: (I hate having nothing to do. It gets me thinking too much.) (I hope Selphie and the others are all right. Was it wrong for me to let them go? I wonder how Quistis and Irvine felt about it.) (That sorceress... Who is she? Why fire missiles at the Garden? Is Seifer ever coming back? I'll get even with him next time.)"
  28. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Cid: This journey will involve many battles. A well qualified leader is needed for this. Therefore, I am appointing Squall as your new leader. From now on, Squall will be the leader. He will decide our destination and battle plan."
  29. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: ...Why is it that we forgot? We grew up together as kids... How's that possible...? / Irvine: How about this? ...The price we pay for using the GF. The GF provides us its power. But the GF makes its own place inside our brain... / Quistis: So you're saying that the area is where our memories are stored? No...! That's just a rumor the GF critics are spreading. / Zell: So if we keep relying on the GF, we won't be able to remember a lot of things?"
  30. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Cid: She had been a sorceress since childhood. I married her, knowing that. We were happy. We worked together, the two of us. We were very happy. One day, Edea began talking about building the Garden and training SeeD. I became obsessed with that plan. But I was very concerned with SeeD's goal, that one day SeeD might fight Edea..."
  31. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Edea: ...I have been possessed all this time. I was at the mercy of Sorceress Ultimecia. Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future. A sorceress many generations ahead of our time. Ultimecia's objective is to find Ellone."
  32. ^ Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Rinoa: There was a sorceress inside me. Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future. She's trying to achieve time compression."
  33. ^ Square Co.. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Let's go, Rinoa. Let's go meet Ellone. Ellone will bring us together."
  34. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Controller: The lunar world is a world of monsters. Didn't you learn that in school? As you can see, the monsters are gathering at one point. History's starting to repeat itself. The Lunar Cry is starting."
  35. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Rinoa: But Edea's still... I can't guarantee anything, either, if Ultimecia possesses me again... You saw me. She controlled me in outer space and made me break Adel's seal."
  36. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Descendant 1: Sorceress Rinoa. Hyne's descendant. / Descendant 2: Come with us. We must seal your power for the sake of the world."
  37. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Doc Odine: There iz only one way to defeat Ultimecia. You must kill her in ze future. / ... / Ultimecia probably needs to go back further in time to achieve time compression. Only Ellone can take her back further into ze past. / ... / You will keep moving through ze time compression toward ze future. Once you're out of ze time compression, zat will be Ultimecia's world. It's all up to you after zat."
  38. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Laguna: Adel will need to pass on her powers before being defeated. Rinoa, will you be willing to accept them?"
  39. ^ Square Co. Final Fantasy VIII. (Square EA). PlayStation. (1999-09-09) "Squall: Both Garden and SeeD were your ideas. Garden trains SeeDs. SeeDs are trained to defeat the sorceress."
  40. ^ Staff (5 June 1998). "インタビュー 坂口 博信 [Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi]" (in Japanese). Famitsu Weekly. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  41. ^ "Behind The Game The Creators". Square Enix North America. 2001. Retrieved 2006-04-12. 
  42. ^ Nelson, Randy (1999-03-02). "PS2: Demos to Die For". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  43. ^ a b Square Electronic Arts, ed (1999). Final Fantasy VIII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 38–40. SLUS-00892GH. 
  44. ^ Calderman, Dan (2000). "Chocobo World Playable on PC". RPGamer. Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  45. ^ Staff (2009-09-23). "FFVIII PocketStation Opens Up Chocobo World". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  46. ^ Clements, Ryan. "TGS 09: Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Bundle". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  47. ^ a b Maeda, Yoshitake (1999). Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack (Limited Edition). DigiCube.
  48. ^ a b IGN Music. "Twelve Days of Final Fantasy XII: Nobuo Uematsu Interview". IGN. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  49. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII Music Collection". RPGFan. 2000-06-23. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  50. ^ Schweitzer, Ben (2006-06-17). "Final Fantasy VIII OST". RPGFan. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  51. ^ Chandran, Neal (2009-07-27). "Final Fantasy VIII Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec". RPGFan. Retrieved 2006-04-18. 
  52. ^ Bradley, Ryan; Gann, Patrick (2004-02-25). "Piano Collections Final Fantasy VIII". RPGFan. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  53. ^ Mielke, James (2008-02-15). "A Day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Nobuo Uematsu". Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  54. ^ Staff. "Nobuo Uematsu's Profile". Square Enix USA. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  55. ^ Sullivan, Meghan (2008-12-18). "Top Ten JRPG Composers". IGN. IGN Entertainment. p. 6. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  56. ^ "20020220 – Music from FINAL FANTASY". RPGFan. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  57. ^ "Album Information – Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy DVD". SquareEnixMusic. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  58. ^ Schneider, Peer (2004). "Dear Friends: Music From Final Fantasy". IGN. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  59. ^ Gann, Patrick (2006-04-05). "More Friends music from Final Fantasy ~Los Angeles Live 2005~". RPGFan. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  60. ^ "VOICES – Music from Final Fantasy". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  61. ^ "Concert Events- Music from Final Fantasy". Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  62. ^ Bogdanowicz, Robert; Maas, Liz (2002-06-23). "20020220 – Music from Final Fantasy". RPGFan. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  63. ^ Daiker, Brandon (2006-05-27), Play! A Video Game Symphony, N-Sider,, retrieved 2008-04-08 
  64. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII for PlayStation". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  65. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII for PC". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  66. ^ "Final Fantasy VIII (psx: 1999): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  67. ^ a b c Staff (September 1999). "Final Fatnasy VII". Edge (Future Publishing): 87. 
  68. ^ a b c "Final Fantasy VIII". Electronic Gaming Monthly (123): 188. January 1999. 
  69. ^ a b Vestal, Andrew (1999). "Final Fantasy VIII for PlayStation Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  70. ^ a b Kasavin, Greg (2000-02-02). "Final Fantasy VIII". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  71. ^ a b Koltookian, Gary (2000-02-02). "Final Fantasy VIII". GameSpy. p. 2. 
  72. ^ a b c Lundigran, Jeff (1999). "Final Fantasy VIII Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-07-13. 
  73. ^ Lopez, Vincent (2000-01-28). "Final Fantasy VIII Review (PC)". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  74. ^ a b Staff (April 2000). "Final Fantasy VIII". Maximum PC 5 (4): 85. 
  75. ^ a b Wolpaw, Erik (November 2000). "When Ports Go Bad – Final Fantasy VIII Is a Major Disappointment as a Port and as a Game". Computer Gaming World. 
  76. ^ Staff (24 May 1999). " Announces 'Best of E3' Awards Capcom, Microsoft, Midway and Rare Take Top Honors". PR Newswire. 
  77. ^ a b Staff (December 2000). "Top 40". Computer Gaming World (196). 
  78. ^ a b c d Staff (2002-01-22). "Top 25 Games of All Time: Complete List". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  79. ^ Staff (1999-10-05). "Final Fantasy VIII Tops Videogame Charts". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-03-16. 
  80. ^ Sato, Yukiyoshi Ike (1999-12-14). "FFVIII Sells Six Million Copies Worldwide". GameSpot. Retrieved 2006-03-16. 
  81. ^ Staff (1999-12-19). "FF8 Breaks Sales Records". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-03-16. 
  82. ^ Berardini, César A. (2006-04-26). "An Introduction to Square-Enix". TeamXbox. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  83. ^ Staff (1999-09-07). "Final Fantasy VIII Is Out!". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2006-03-16. 
  84. ^ Staff (1999-12-09). "Final Fantasy VIII Sells One Million". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. 
  85. ^ Staff (November 2008). "The Top Ten Video Game Openings". Game Informer (187): 38. 
  86. ^ Staff. "Best Moments of Final Fantasy". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  87. ^ Campbell, Colin (2006). "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100". Next Generation Magazine. Retrieved 2006-03-11. 
  88. ^ Kalata, Kurt (2008-03-19). "A Japanese RPG Primer – Final Fantasy VIII". Gamasutra. p. 9. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
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  93. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed (1999) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania. DigiCube/Square Enix. ISBN 4-925075-49-7. 
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  95. ^ Sato, Yukiyoshi Ike (1999-09-01). "New FFVIII CD-ROM Announced". GameSpot. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 

External links


A seed ( /ˈsiːd/ ), referred to as a kernel in some plants, is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant. The formation of the seed completes the process of reproduction in seed plants (started with the development of flowers and pollination), with the embryo developed from the zygote and the seed coat from the integuments of the ovule.

Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants, relative to more primitive plants like mosses, ferns and liverworts, which do not have seeds and use other means to propagate themselves. This can be seen by the success of seed plants (both gymnosperms and angiosperms) in dominating biological niches on land, from forests to grasslands both in hot and cold climates.

The term seed also has a general meaning that predates the above — anything that can be sown i.e. "seed" potatoes, "seeds" of corn or sunflower "seeds". In the case of sunflower and corn "seeds", what is sown is the seed enclosed in a shell or hull, and the potato is a tuber.


Seed structure

seed (a dicot), showing the seed coat, endosperm, and embryo.]]

A typical seed includes three basic parts: (1) an embryo, (2) a supply of nutrients for the embryo, and (3) a seed coat.

The embryo is an immature plant from which a new plant will grow under proper conditions. The embryo has one cotyledon or seed leaf in monocotyledons, two cotyledons in almost all dicotyledons and two or more in gymnosperms. The radicle is the embryonic root. The plumule is the embryonic shoot. The embryonic stem above the point of attachment of the cotyledon(s) is the epicotyl. The embryonic stem below the point of attachment is the hypocotyl.

Within the seed, there usually is a store of nutrients for the seedling that will grow from the embryo. The form of the stored nutrition varies depending on the kind of plant. In angiosperms, the stored food begins as a tissue called the endosperm, which is derived from the parent plant via double fertilization. The usually triploid endosperm is rich in oil or starch and protein. In gymnosperms, such as conifers, the food storage tissue is part of the female gametophyte, a haploid tissue. In some species, the embryo is embedded in the endosperm or female gametophyte, which the seedling will use upon germination. In others, the endosperm is absorbed by the embryo as the latter grows within the developing seed, and the cotyledons of the embryo become filled with this stored food. At maturity, seeds of these species have no endosperm and are termed exalbuminous seeds. Some exalbuminous seeds are bean, pea, oak, walnut, squash, sunflower, and radish. Seeds with an endosperm at maturity are termed albuminous seeds. Most monocots (e.g. grasses and palms) and many dicots (e.g. brazil nut and castor bean) have albuminous seeds. All gymnosperm seeds are albuminous.

The seed coat (or testa) develops from the tissue, the integument, originally surrounding the ovule. The seed coat in the mature seed can be a paper-thin layer (e.g. peanut) or something more substantial (e.g. thick and hard in honey locust and coconut). The seed coat helps protect the embryo from mechanical injury and from drying out.

In addition to the three basic seed parts, some seeds have an appendage on the seed coat such an aril (as in yew and nutmeg) or an elaiosome (as in Corydalis) or hairs (as in cotton). There may also be a scar on the seed coat, called the hilum; it is where the seed was attached to the ovary wall by the funiculus.

Seed production


Seeds are produced in several related groups of plants, and their manner of production distinguishes the angiosperms ("enclosed seeds") from the gymnosperms ("naked seeds"). Angiosperm seeds are produced in a hard or fleshy structure called a fruit that encloses the seeds, hence the name. (Some fruits have layers of both hard and fleshy material). In gymnosperms, no special structure develops to enclose the seeds, which begin their development "naked" on the bracts of cones. However, the seeds do become covered by the cone scales as they develop in some species of conifer.

Seed production in natural plant populations vary widely from year-to-year in response to weather variables, insects and diseases, and internal cycles within the plants themselves. Over a 20-year period, for example, forests composed of loblolly pine and shortleaf pine produced from 0 to nearly 5 million sound pine seeds per hectare.[1] Over this period, there were six bumper seeds, five poor seeds crops, and nine good seed crops, when evaluated in regard to producing adequate seedlings for natural forest reproduction.

Kinds of seeds

There are a number of modifications to seeds by different groups of plants. One example is that of the so-called stone fruits (such as the peach), where a hardened fruit layer ( the endocarp) surrounds the actual seed and is fused to it.

Many structures commonly referred to as "seeds" are actually dry fruits. Sunflower seeds are sold commercially while still enclosed within the hard wall of the fruit, which must be split open to reach the seed.

Seed development

seed, showing a well-developed embryo, nutritive tissue (megagametophyte), and a bit of the surrounding seed coat.]]

seed and embryo. (a) seed coat, (b) endosperm, (c) cotyledon, (d) hypocotyl.]]

The seed, which is an embryo with two points of growth (one of which forms the stems the other the roots) is enclosed in a seed coat with some food reserves. Angiosperm seeds consist of three genetically distinct constituents: (1) the embryo formed from the zygote, (2) the endosperm, which is normally triploid, (3) the seed coat from tissue derived from the maternal tissue of the ovule. In angiosperms, the process of seed development begins with double fertilization and involves the fusion of the egg and sperm nuclei into a zygote. The second part of this process is the fusion of the polar nuclei with a second sperm cell nucleus, thus forming a primary endosperm. Right after fertilization, the zygote is mostly inactive but the primary endosperm divides rapidly to form the endosperm tissue. This tissue becomes the food that the young plant will consume until the roots have developed after germination or it develops into a hard seed coat. The seed coat forms from the two integuments or outer layers of cells of the ovule, which derive from tissue from the mother plant, the inner integument forms the tegmen and the outer forms the testa. When the seed coat forms from only one layer it is also called the testa, though not all such testa are homologous from one species to the next.

In gymnosperms, the two sperm cells transferred from the pollen do not develop seed by double fertilization but one sperm nucleus unites with the egg nucleus and the other sperm is not used.[2] Sometimes each sperm fertilizes an egg cell and one zygote is then aborted or absorbed during early development.[3] The seed is composed of the embryo (the result of fertilization) and tissue from the mother plant, which also form a cone around the seed in coniferous plants like Pine and Spruce.

The ovules after fertilization develop into the seeds; the main parts of the ovule are the funicle; which attaches the ovule to the placenta, the nucellus; the main region of the ovule were the embryo sac develops, the micropyle; A small pore or opening in the ovule where the pollen tube usually enters during the process of fertilization, and the chalaza; the base of the ovule opposite the micropyle, where integument and nucellus are joined together.[4]

The shape of the ovules as they develop often affects the finale shape of the seeds. Plants generally produce ovules of four shapes: the most common shape is called anatropous, with a curved shape. Orthotropous ovules are straight with all the parts of the ovule lined up in a long row producing an uncurved seed. Campylotropous ovules have a curved embryo sac often giving the seed a tight “c” shape. The last ovule shape is called amphitropous, where the ovule is partly inverted and turned back 90 degrees on its stalk or funicle.

In the majority of flowering plants, the zygote's first division is transversely oriented in regards to the long axis, and this establishes the polarity of the embryo. The upper or chalazal pole becomes the main area of growth of the embryo, while the lower or micropylar pole produces the stalk-like suspensor that attaches to the micropyle. The suspensor absorbs and manufacturers nutrients from the endosperm that are utilized during the embryos growth.[5]

The embryo is composed of different parts; the epicotyle will grow into the shoot, the radicle grows into the primary root, the hypocotyl connects the epicotyle and the radicle, the cotyledons form the seed leaves, the testa or seed coat forms the outer covering of the seed. Monocotyledonous plants like corn, have other structures; instead of the hypocotyle-epicotyle, it has a coleoptile that forms the first leaf and connects to the coleorhiza that connects to the primary root and adventitious roots form from the sides. The seeds of corn are constructed with these structures; pericarp, scutellum (single large cotyledon) that absorbs nutrients from the endosperm, endosperm, plumule, radicle, coleoptile and coleorhiza - these last two structures are sheath-like and enclose the plumule and radicle, acting as a protective covering. The testa or seed coats of both monocots and dicots are often marked with patterns and textured markings, or have wings or tufts of hair.

Seed size and seed set

Seeds are very diverse in size. The dust-like orchid seeds are the smallest with about one million seeds per gram, they are often embryonic seeds with immature embryos and no significant energy reserves. Orchids and a few other groups of plants are myco-heterotrophs which depend on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrition during germination and the early growth of the seedling. Some terrestrial Orchid seedlings, in fact, spend the first few years of their life deriving energy from the fungus and do not produce green leaves.[6] At over 20 kg, the largest seed is the coco de mer. Plants that produce smaller seeds can generate many more seeds per flower, while plants with larger seeds invest more resources into those seeds and normally produce fewer seeds. Small seeds are quicker to ripen and can be dispersed sooner, so fall blooming plants often have small seeds. Many annual plants produce great quantities of smaller seeds; this helps to ensure that at least a few will end in a favorable place for growth. Herbaceous perennials and woody plants often have larger seeds, they can produce seeds over many years, and larger seeds have more energy reserves for germination and seedling growth and produce larger, more established seedlings after germination.[7][8]

Seed functions

Seeds serve several functions for the plants that produce them. Key among these functions are nourishment of the embryo, dispersal to a new location, and dormancy during unfavorable conditions. Seeds fundamentally are a means of reproduction and most seeds are the product of sexual reproduction which produces a remixing of genetic material and phenotype variability that natural selection acts on.

Embryo nourishment

Seeds protect and nourish the embryo or baby plant. Seeds usually give a seedling a faster start than a sporeling from a spore, because of the larger food reserves in the seed and the multicellularity of the enclosed embryo.

Seed dispersal

Unlike animals, plants are limited in their ability to seek out favorable conditions for life and growth. As a result, plants have evolved many ways to disperse their offspring by dispersing their seeds (see also vegetative reproduction). A seed must somehow "arrive" at a location and be there at a time favorable for germination and growth. When the fruits open and release their seeds in a regular way, it is called dehiscent, which is often distinctive for related groups of plants, these fruits include; Capsules, follicles, legumes, silicles and siliques. When fruits do not open and release their seeds in a regular fashion they are called indehiscent, which include these fruits; Achenes, caryopsis, nuts, samaras, and utricles.[9]

Seed dispersal is seen most obviously in fruits; however many seeds aid in their own dispersal. Some kinds of seeds are dispersed while still inside a fruit or cone, which later opens or disintegrates to release the seeds. Other seeds are expelled or released from the fruit prior to dispersal. For example, milkweeds produce a fruit type, known as a follicle,[10] that splits open along one side to release the seeds. Iris capsules split into three "valves" to release their seeds.[11]

By wind (anemochory)

s) can be carried long distances by the wind.]]

  • Many seeds (e.g. maple, pine) have a wing that aids in wind dispersal.
  • The dustlike seeds of orchids are carried efficiently by the wind.
  • Some seeds, (e.g. dandelion, milkweed, poplar) have hairs that aid in wind dispersal.

Some winged seeds have two, and some have only one wing.

By water (hydrochory)

  • Some plants, such as Mucuna and Dioclea, produce buoyant seeds termed sea-beans or drift seeds because they float in rivers to the oceans and wash up on beaches.[12]

By animals (zoochory)

  • Seeds (burrs) with barbs or hooks (e.g. acaena, burdock, dock) which attach to animal fur or feathers, and then drop off later.
  • Seeds with a fleshy covering (e.g. apple, cherry, juniper) are eaten by animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish) which then disperse these seeds in their droppings.
  • Seeds (nuts) which are an attractive long-term storable food resource for animals (e.g. acorns, hazelnut, walnut); the seeds are stored some distance from the parent plant, and some escape being eaten if the animal forgets them.

Myrmecochory is the dispersal of seeds by ants. Foraging ants disperse seeds which have appendages called elaiosomes[13] (e.g. bloodroot, trilliums, Acacias, and many species of Proteaceae). Elaiosomes are soft, fleshy structures that contain nutrients for animals that eat them. The ants carry such seeds back to their nest, where the elaiosomes are eaten. The remainder of the seed, which is hard and inedible to the ants, then germinates either within the nest or at a removal site where the seed has been discarded by the ants.[14] This dispersal relationship is an example of mutualism, since the plants depend upon the ants to disperse seeds, while the ants depend upon the plants seeds for food. As a result, a drop in numbers of one partner can reduce success of the other. In South Africa, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) has invaded and displaced native species of ants. Unlike the native ant species, Argentine ants do not collect the seeds of Mimetes cucullatus or eat the elaiosomes. In areas where these ants have invaded, the numbers of Mimetes seedlings have dropped.[15]

Seed dormancy

Seed dormancy has two main functions: the first is synchronizing germination with the optimal conditions for survival of the resulting seedling; the second is spreading germination of a batch of seeds over time so that a catastrophe after germination (e.g. late frosts, drought, herbivory) does not result in the death of all offspring of a plant (bet-hedging).[16] Seed dormancy is defined as a seed failing to germinate under environmental conditions optimal for germination, normally when the environment is at a suitable temperature with proper soil moisture. This true dormancy or innate dormancy is therefore caused by conditions within the seed that prevent germination. Thus dormancy is a state of the seed, not of the environment.[17] Induced dormancy, enforced dormancy or seed quiescence occurs when a seed fails to germinate because the external environmental conditions are inappropriate for germination, mostly in response to conditions being too dark or light, too cold or hot, or too dry.

Seed dormancy is not the same as seed persistence in the soil or on the plant, though even in scientific publications dormancy and persistence are often confused or used as synonyms.[18]

Often seed dormancy is divided into four major categories: exogenous; endogenous; combinational; and secondary. A more recent system distinguishes five classes of dormancy:morphological, physiological, morphophysiological, physical and combinational dormancy.[19]

Exogenous dormancy is caused by conditions outside the embryo including:

  • Physical dormancy or hard seed coats occurs when seeds are impermeable to water. At dormancy break a specialized structure, the ‘water gap’, is disrupted in response to environmental cues, especially temperature, so that water can enter the seed and germination can occur. Plant families where physical dormancy occurs include Anacardiaceae, Cannaceae, Convulvulaceae, Fabaceae and Malvaceae.[20]
  • Chemical dormancy considers species that lack physiological dormancy, but where a chemical prevents germination. This chemical can be leached out of the seed by rainwater or snow melt or be deactivated somehow.[21] Leaching of chemical inhibitors from the seed by rain water is often cited as an important cause of dormancy release in seeds of desert plants, however little evidence exists to support this claim.[22]

Endogenous dormancy is caused by conditions within the embryo itself, including:

  • Morphological dormancy where germination is prevented due to morphological characteristics of the embryo. In some species the embryo is just a mass of cells when seeds are dispersed, it is not differentiated. Before germination can take place both differentiation and growth of the embryo have to occur. In other species the embryo is differentiated but not fully grown (underdeveloped) at dispersal and embryo growth up to a species specific length is required before germination can occur. Examples of plant families where morphological dormancy occurs are Apiaceae, Cycadaceae, Liliaceae, Magnoliaceae and Ranunculaceae. [23][24]
  • Morphophysiological dormancy seeds with underdeveloped embryos, and which in addition have physiological components to dormancy. These seeds therefore require a dormancy-breaking treatments as well as a period of time to develop fully grown embryos. Plant families where morphophysiological dormancy occurs include Apiaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Liliaceae, Magnoliaceae, Papaveraceae and Ranunculaceae.[25] Some plants with morphophysiological dormancy like Asarum or Trillium species have multiple types of dormancy, one affects radicle (root) growth while the other affects plumule (shoot) growth. The terms "double dormancy" and "2-year seeds" are used for species whose seeds need two years to complete germination or at least two winters and one summer. Dormancy of the radicle (seedling root)is broken during the first winter after dispersal while dormancy of the shoot bud is broken during the second winter.[26]
  • Physiological dormancy means that the embryo can, due to physiological causes, not generate enough power to break through the seed coat, endosperm or other covering structures. Dormancy is typically broken at cool wet, warm wet or warm dry conditions. Abscisic acid is usually the growth inhibitor in seeds and its production can be affected by light.
    • Drying; some plants including a number of grasses and those from seasonally arid regions need a period of drying before they will germinate, the seeds are released but need to have a lower moister content before germination can begin. If the seeds remain moist after dispersal, germination can be delayed for many months or even years. Many herbaceous plants from temperate climate zones have physiological dormancy that disappears with drying of the seeds. Other species will germinate after dispersal only under very narrow temperature ranges, but as the seeds dry they are able to germinate over a wider temperature range.[27]
  • Combinational dormancy In seeds with combinational dormancy the seed or fruit coat is impermeable to water and the embryo has physiological dormancy. Depending on the species physical dormancy can be broken before or after physiological dormancy is broken.[28]
  • Secondary dormancy* is caused by conditions after the seed has been dispersed and occurs in some seeds when non-dormant seed is exposed to conditions that are not favorable to germination, very often high temperatures. The mechanisms of secondary dormancy are not yet fully understood but might involve the loss of sensitivity in receptors in the plasma membrane.[29]

The following types of seed dormancy do strictly spoken not involve seed dormancy as lack of germination is prevented by the environment not by characteristics of the seed itself (see Germination):

  • Photodormancy or light sensitivity affects germination of some seeds. These photoblastic seeds need a period of darkness or light to germinate. In species with thin seed coats, light may be able to penetrate into the dormant embryo. The presence of light or the absence of light may trigger the germination process, inhibiting germination in some seeds buried too deeply or in others not buried in the soil.
  • Thermodormancy is seed sensitivity to heat or cold. Some seeds including cocklebur and amaranth germinate only at high temperatures (30C or 86F) many plants that have seed that germinate in early to mid summer have thermodormancy and germinate only when the soil temperature is warm. Other seeds need cool soils to germinate, while others like celery are inhibited when soil temperatures are too warm. Often thermodormancy requirements disappear as the seed ages or dries.

Not all seeds undergo a period of dormancy. Seeds of some mangroves are viviparous, they begin to germinate while still attached to the parent. The large, heavy root allows the seed to penetrate into the ground when it falls. Many garden plants have seeds that will germinate readily as soon as they have water and are warm enough, though their wild ancestors may have had dormancy, these cultivated plants lack seed dormancy. After many generations of selective pressure by plant breeders and gardeners dormancy has been selected out.

For annuals, seeds are a way for the species to survive dry or cold seasons. Ephemeral plants are usually annuals that can go from seed to seed in as few as six weeks.[30]

Seed persistence and seed banks

Seed germination


Seed germination is a process by which a seed embryo develops into a seedling and subsequently a plant. It involves the reactivation of the metabolic pathways that lead to growth and the emergence of the radicle or seed root and plumule or shoot.

Three fundamental conditions must exist before germination can occur. (1) The embryo must be alive, called seed viability. (2) Any dormancy requirements that prevent germination must be overcome. (3) The proper environmental conditions must exist for germination.

Seed viability is the ability of the embryo to germinate and is affected by a number of different conditions. Some plants do not produce seeds that have functional complete embryos or the seed may have no embryo at all, often called empty seeds. Predators and pathogens can damage or kill the seed while it is still in the fruit or after it is dispersed. Environmental conditions like flooding or heat can kill the seed before or during germination. The age of the seed affects its health and germination ability: since the seed has a living embryo, over time cells die and cannot be replaced. Some seeds can live for a long time before germination, while others can only survive for a short period after dispersal before they die.

Seed vigor is a measure of the quality of seed, and involves the viability of the seed, the germination percentage, germination rate and the strength of the seedlings produced.[31]

The germination percentage is simply the proportion of seeds that germinate from all seeds subject to the right conditions for growth. The germination rate is the length of time it takes for the seeds to germinate. Germination percentages and rates are affected by seed viability, dormancy and environmental effects that impact on the seed and seedling. In agriculture and horticulture quality seeds have high viability, measured by germination percentage plus the rate of germination. This is given as a percent of germination over a certain amount of time, 90% germination in 20 days, for example. 'Dormancy' is covered above; many plants produce seeds with varying degrees of dormancy, and different seeds from the same fruit can have different degrees of dormancy.[32] It's possible to have seeds with no dormancy if they are dispersed right away and do not dry (if the seeds dry they go into physiological dormancy). There is great variation amongst plants and a dormant seed is still a viable seed even though the germination rate might be very low.

Environmental conditions effecting seed germination include; water, oxygen, temperature and light.

Three distinct phases of seed germination occur: water imbibition; lag phase; and radicle emergence.

In order for the seed coat to split, the embryo must imbibe (soak up water), which causes it to swell, splitting the seed coat. However, the nature of the seed coat determines how rapidly water can penetrate and subsequently initiate germination. The rate of imbibition is dependent on the permeability of the seed coat, amount of water in the environment and the area of contact the seed has to the source of water. For some seeds, imbibing too much water too quickly can kill the seed. For some seeds, once water is imbibed the germination process cannot be stopped, and if the seed dries out again it is fatal. Other species have seeds that can imbibe and lose water a few times without causing ill effects to the seed, and drying can cause secondary dormancy.

Inducing germination

A number of different strategies are used by gardeners and horticulturists to break seed dormancy.

Scarification which allows water and gases to penetrate into the seed, include methods that physically break the hard seed coats or soften them by chemicals. Means of scarification include soaking in hot water or poking holes in the seed with a pin or rubbing them on sandpaper or cracking with a press or hammer. Soaking the seeds in solvents or acids is also effective for many seeds. Sometimes fruits are harvested while the seeds are still immature and the seed coat is not fully developed and sown right away before the seed coat become impermeable. Under natural conditions seed coats are worn down by rodents chewing on the seed, the seeds rubbing against rocks (seeds are moved by the wind or water currents), by undergoing freezing and thawing of surface water, or passing through an animal's digestive tract. In the latter case, the seed coat protects the seed from digestion, while often weakening the seed coat such that the embryo is ready to sprout when it gets deposited (along with a bit of fertilizer) far from the parent plant. Microorganisms are often effective in breaking down hard seed coats and are sometimes used by people as a treatment, the seeds are stored in a moist warm sandy medium for several months under non-sterile conditions.

Stratification also called moist-chilling is a method to break down physiological dormancy and involves the addition of moisture to the seeds so they imbibe water and then the seeds are subject to a period of moist chilling to after-ripen the embryo. Sowing outside in late summer and fall and allowing to overwinter outside under cool conditions is an effective way to stratify seeds, some seeds respond more favorably to periods of osculating temperatures which are part of the natural environment.

Leaching or the soaking in water removes chemical inhibitors in some seeds that prevent germination. Rain and melting snow naturally accomplish this task. For seeds planted in gardens, running water is best - if soaked in a container, 12 to 24 hours of soaking is sufficient. Soaking longer, especially in stagnant water that is not changed, can result in oxygen starvation and seed death. Seeds with hard seed coats can be soaked in hot water to break open the impermeable cell layers that prevent water intake.

Other methods used to assist in the germination of seeds that have dormancy include prechilling, predrying, daily alternation of temperature, light exposure, potassium nitrate, the use of plant growth regulators like gibberellins, cytokinins, ethylene, thiourea, sodium hypochlorite plus others.[33] Some seeds germinate best after a fire, for some seeds fire cracks hard seed coats while in other seeds chemical dormancy is broken in reaction to the presence of smoke, liquid smoke is often used by gardeners to assist in the germination of these species.[34]

Origin and evolution

The origin of seed plants is a problem that still remains unsolved. However, more and more data tends to place this origin in the middle Devonian. The description in 2004 of the proto-seed Runcaria heinzelinii in the Givetian of Belgium is an indication of that ancient origin of seed-plants. As with modern ferns, most land plants before this time reproduced by sending spores into the air, that would land and become whole new plants.

The first "true" seeds are described from the upper Devonian, which is probably the theater of their true first evolutionary radiation. The seed plants progressively became one of the major elements of nearly all ecosystems.

Economic importance


Edible seeds

Many seeds are edible and the majority of human calories comes from seeds, especially from cereals, legumes and nuts. Seeds also provide most cooking oils, many beverages and spices and some important food additives. In different seeds the seed embryo or the endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. The storage proteins of the embryo and endosperm differ in their amino acid content and physical properties. For example the gluten of wheat, important in providing the elastic property to bread dough is strictly an endosperm protein.

Seeds are used to propagate many crops such as cereals, legumes, forest trees, turfgrasses and pasture grasses.

Seeds are also eaten by animals, and are fed to livestock. Many seeds are used as birdseed.

Poison and food safety

While some seeds are edible, others are harmful, poisonous or deadly.[35] Plants and seeds often contain chemical compounds to discourage herbivores and seed predators. In some cases, these compounds simply taste bad (such as in mustard), but other compounds are toxic or break down into toxic compounds within the digestive system. Children, being smaller than adults, are more susceptible to poisoning by plants and seeds.[36]

An infamously deadly poison, ricin, comes from seeds of the castor bean. Reported lethal doses are anywhere from two to eight seeds,[37][38] though only a few deaths have been reported when castor beans have been ingested by animals.[39]

In addition, seeds containing amygdalinapple, apricot, bitter almond,[40] peach, plum, cherry, quince, and others—when consumed in sufficient amounts, may cause Cyanide poisoning.[40][41] Other seeds that contain poisons include annona, cotton, custard apple, datura, uncooked durian, golden chain, horse-chestnut, larkspur, locoweed, lychee, nectarine, rambutan, rosary pea, sour sop, sugar apple, wisteria, and yew.[42][43] The seeds of the strychnine tree are also poisonous, containing the poison strychnine.

The seeds of many legumes, including the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), contain proteins called lectins which can cause gastric distress if the beans are eaten without cooking. The common bean and many others, including the soybean, also contain trypsin inhibitors which interfere with the action of the digestive enzyme trypsin. Normal cooking processes degrade lectins and trypsin inhibitors to harmless forms.[44]

Please see the category plant toxins for further relevant articles.

Other uses

(in bottles) and coconut oil (in jars in the middle).]]

The world's most important clothing fiber grows attached to cotton seed. Other seed fibers are from kapok and milkweed.

Many important nonfood oils are extracted from seeds. Linseed oil is used in paints. Oil from jojoba and crambe are similar to whale oil.

Seeds are the source of some medicines including castor oil, tea tree oil and the discredited cancer drug, Laetrile.

Many seeds have been used as beads in necklaces and rosaries including Job's tears, Chinaberry, rosary pea, and castor bean. However, the latter three are also poisonous.

Other seed uses include:

Seed records

of the coco de mer.]]
  • The largest seed is produced by the coco de mer, or "double coconut palm", Lodoicea maldivica. The entire fruit may weigh up to 23 kilograms (50 pounds) and usually contains a single seed.[46]

See also

Biology portal


  1. ^ Cain, M.D.; Shelton, M.G. 2001. Twenty years of natural loblolly and shortleaf pine seed production on the Crossett Experimental Forest in southeastern Arkansas. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(1): 40-45.
  2. ^ Rost, Thomas L.; Weier, T. Elliot; Weier, Thomas Elliot (1979). Botany: a brief introduction to plant biology. New York: Wiley. pp. 319. ISBN 0-471-02114-8. 
  3. ^ Filonova LH, Bozhkov PV, von Arnold S (February 2000). "Developmental pathway of somatic embryogenesis in Picea abies as revealed by time-lapse tracking". J Exp Bot. 51 (343): 249–64. doi:10.1093/jexbot/51.343.249. PMID 10938831. 
  4. ^ Galili G, Kigel J (1995). "Chapter One". Seed development and germination. New York: M. Dekker. ISBN 0-8247-9229-7. 
  5. ^ Raven, Peter H., Ray Franklin Evert, and Helena Curtis. 1981. Biology of plants. New York, N.Y.: Worth Publishers. page 410.
  6. ^ Smith, Welby R. 1993. Orchids of Minnesota. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Page 8.
  7. ^ Igor Kosinki (2007). "Long-term variability in seed size and seedling establishment of Maianthemum bifolium". Plant Ecology 194 (2): 149–156. doi:10.1007/s11258-007-9281-1. 
  8. ^ Shannon DA, Isaac L, Brockman FE (February 1996). "Assessment of hedgerow species for seed size, stand establishment and seedling height". Agroforestry Systems 35 (1): 95–110. doi:10.1007/BF02345331. 
  9. ^ Jones, Samuel B., and Arlene E. Luchsinger. 1979. Plant systematics. McGraw-Hill series in organismic biology. New York: McGraw-Hill. Page 195.
  10. ^ Cronquist, Arthur (1981). An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 882. ISBN 0-231-03880-1. 
  11. ^ Stern, Kingsley R. (1991). Introductory Plant Biology (5th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Publishers. pp. 131. ISBN 0-697-09947-4. 
  12. ^ - Sea-Beans and Drift Seeds
  13. ^ Marinelli, J. (1999) "Ants - The astonishing intimacy between ants & plants." Plants & Gardens News 14 (1). [1]
  14. ^ Ricklefs, Robert E. (1993) The Economy of Nature, 3rd ed., p.396. (New York: W. H. Freeman). ISBN 0-7167-2409-X.
  15. ^ Bond, W. J.; P. Slingsby (1984). "Collapse of an ant-plant mutualism: The Argentine ant, Iridomyrmex humilis and myrmecochorous Proteaceae". Ecology 65: 1031–1037. doi:10.2307/1938311. 
  16. ^ Eira MTS, Caldas LS (2000) Seed dormancy and germination as concurrent processes. Rev Bras Fisiol Vegetal 12:85–104
  17. ^ Vleeshouwers, L.M., H.J. Bouwmeester & C.M. Karssen, 1995. Redefining seed dormancy: an attempt to integrate physiology and ecology. Journal of Ecology 83:1031-1037
  18. ^ Thompson K, Ceriani RM, Bakker JP, Bekker RM (2003) Are seed dormancy and persistence in soil related? 13:97-100
  19. ^ Baskin, J.M. and Baskin, C.C. (2004) A classification system for seed dormancy. Seed Science Research 14, 1–16
  20. ^ Baskin JM, Baskin CC, Li X (2000) Taxonomy, anatomy and evolution of physical dormancy in seeds. Plant Species Biology 15:139-152
  21. ^ Baskin, C.C. and Baskin, J.M. (1998) Seeds: Ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination.San Diego, Academic Press
  22. ^ Gutterman, Y. (1993) Seed germination in desert plants. Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg.
  23. ^ Baskin, C.C. and Baskin, J.M. (1998) Seeds: Ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination.San Diego, Academic Press.
  24. ^ Baskin, J.M. and Baskin, C.C. (2004) A classification system for seed dormancy. Seed Science Research 14:1–16.
  25. ^ Baskin, C.C. and Baskin, J.M. (1998) Seeds: Ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination.San Diego, Academic Press.
  26. ^ Baskin, C.C. and Baskin, J.M. (1998) Seeds: Ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination.San Diego, Academic Press.
  27. ^ International Workshop on Seeds, and G. Nicolas. 2003. The biology of seeds recent research advances : proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Seeds, Salamanca, Spain 2002. Wallingford, Oxon, UK: CABI Pub. Page 113.
  28. ^ Baskin, J.M. and Baskin, C.C. (2004) A classification system for seed dormancy. Seed Science Research 14:1–16.
  29. ^ Bewley, J. Derek, and Michael Black. 1994. Seeds physiology of development and germination. The language of science. New York: Plenum Press. page 230.
  30. ^ Patten, D.T. 1978. Productivity and production efficiency of an Upper Sonoran Desert ephemeral community. American Journal of Botany 65: 891-895.
  31. ^ Seed Vigor and Vigor Tests
  32. ^ International Seed Testing Association. 1973. ISSN 0251-0952. Pages 120-21.Seed science and technology. Wageningen?: International Seed Testing Association.
  33. ^ Hartmann, Hudson Thomas, and Dale E. Kester. 1983. Plant propagation principles and practices. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0136810071. Pages 175-77.
  34. ^ Trace Gas Emissions and Smoke-Induced Seed Germination - Keeley and Fotheringham 276 (5316): 1248 - Science
  35. ^ Chia Joo Suan, "Seeds of Doubt: Food Safety"
  36. ^ Clelland, Mike. "Poisonous Plants and Seeds", Healthy Child Care
  37. ^ Poisonous Plants
  38. ^ Wedin GP, Neal JS, Everson GW, Krenzelok EP (May 1986). "Castor bean poisoning". Am J Emerg Med 4 (3): 259–61. doi:10.1016/0735-6757(86)90080-X. PMID 3964368. 
  39. ^ Albretsen JC, Gwaltney-Brant SM, Khan SA (2000). "Evaluation of castor bean toxicosis in dogs: 98 cases". J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 36 (3): 229–33. PMID 10825094. 
  40. ^ a b Almond/Almond Oil
  41. ^ Wolke, RL. Seeds of Anxiety Washington Post January 5, 2005
  42. ^ Poisonous plants
  43. ^ Chia Joo Suan Food Safety: Seeds of doubt
  44. ^ Dhurandhar NV, Chang KC (1990). "Effect of Cooking on Firmness, Trypsin Inhibitors, Lectins and Cystine/Cysteine content of Navy and Red Kidney Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)". J Food Sci. 55 (2): 470–4. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1990.tb06789.x. 
  45. ^ Roach, John. (2005) "2,000-Year-Old Seed Sprouts, Sapling Is Thriving", National Geographic News, 22 November.
  46. ^ Corner EJH (1966). The Natural History of Palms. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 313–4. 
  47. ^ Taylor EL, Taylor TMC (1993). The biology and evolution of fossil plants. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall. pp. 466. ISBN 0-13-651589-4. 

External links

Simple English

seeds has an embryo, food, and a protective coat. The seeds need only warmth, water, and air to begin developing.]]

A seed is the part of a seed plant which can grow into a new plant. It is a reproductive structure which disperses, and can survive for some time. A typical seed includes three basic parts: (1) an embryo, (2) a supply of nutrients for the embryo, and (3) a seed coat.

There are many different kinds of seeds. Some plants make a lot of seeds, some make only a few. Seeds are often hard and very small, but some are larger. The coconut is as big as a child's head, but it contains more than just a seed. At the start, seeds are dormant (resting inside their coat) for a while. When the seed is ready to develop, it needs water, air and warmth but not sunlight to become a seedling.

Because most kinds of seeds carry the food that helps the new plant begin to grow, many kinds of seeds are good food for animals and people. Seeds are often inside fruits. The many kinds of grain that people grow, such as rice, wheat, and maize, are all seeds.

Development from the seed

A seed, though not active, is a tiny living thing. It contains the embryo of the future plant, which is not changing or developing: it is dormant. The common idea is that the seed "sleeps" until it gets what it needs to wake up. That is not correct. Different seeds have different habits, no doubt adapted to their habitat. There are different kinds of resting stages in seeds:[1]

1. Seed dormancy: means the seed does not develop for a while even when conditions are suitable.[2]p98 Delayed germination (development) allows time for dispersal. Changes take place inside the seed which sooner or later make it germinate. The details vary hugely between species.
2. Seed hibernation: fails to germinate because conditions are not right. Growth is triggered by particular events in the environment. Details of the triggers are known for some, but not all, seeds. Rain, fire, ground temperature, are examples. Many seeds only germinate after they have been eaten and passed through the digestive system of an animal. This also is a dispersal method.

When a seed germinates ("wakes up"), it begins to grow into a little plant called a seedling.[3] It uses the soft fleshy material inside the seed for nutrients (food) until it is ready to make food on its own using sunlight, water and air.

Most seeds germinate underground where there is no sunlight. The plant does not need the nutrients in soil for a few days or weeks, because the seed has all the things it needs to grow.[2] Later, though, it will begin to need sunlight. If there is sunlight, the plant will use it to grow healthy. If there is no light, the plant will still grow for a while, but its plastids will not mature: the chlorophyll does not turn green. If the plant does not get enough light, it will eventually die. It needs light to make food for itself when the reserve in the seed runs out.[3]

  • The oldest carbon 14-dated seed that has grown into a plant was a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in Israel. It was germinated in 2005.[4]
  • The largest seed is produced by the Coco de mer, or "double coconut palm", Lodoicea maldivica. The entire fruit may weigh up to 23 kilograms (50 pounds) and usually contains a single seed.[5]

Origin and evolution

Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and spread of conifers and flowering plants. Plants such as mosses, liverworts and ferns do not have seeds, and use unprotected spores and other methods to propagate themselves. Before the upper Devonian period, land plants, like modern ferns, reproduced by sending spores into the air. The spores would land and become new plants only in favourable conditions. Spores have little food stored, and may be just single cells rather than embryos.

The evolution of seeds changed the plant life cycle by freeing plants from the need for external water for sexual reproduction, and by providing protection and nutrients for the developing embryo. These functions allowed plants to expand beyond the immediate neighbourhood of water sources. They were able to exploit environments which were drier and more upland.[6]p92 This can be seen by the success of seed plants in important biological niches on land, from forests to grasslands both in hot and cold climates. The present-day seed plants are the Gymnosperms, with naked seeds, and the Angiosperms with covered seeds, usually fruits.

The first true seeds are from the upper Devonian 370–354 million years ago, which is probably the theatre of their first evolutionary radiation. The earliest seed-producing trees were in the forests of the Carboniferous period.[6]p112 The seed plants steadily became one of the most important elements of nearly all ecosystems.


  1. Baskin C.C. & Baskin J.M. 1998. Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, San Diego.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fenner, Michael and Thompson, Ken 2005. The ecology of seeds. Cambridge. ISBN 9780521653688
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fulbright, Jeannie (2004). Exploring Creation with Botany. 1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220: Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.. ISBN 1-932012-49-4. 
  4. Roach, John. 2005. 2,000-Year-Old Seed sprouts, sapling is thriving, National Geographic News.
  5. Corner EJH (1966). The natural history of Palms. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 313–4. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Willis K.J. and McElwain J.C. 2002. The evolution of plants. Oxford.
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