Although The Seed Site is primarily about seeds, it encompasses many other aspects of plant growth. Just as many books about plants include a glossary of botanical terms, so the Botany section of The Seed Site gives explanations of botanical terms not directly related to seeds, and many of these explanations cover Key Stages of the Science National Curriculum. Do look around our site, and see what we have that you might want to include in your lessons. Most of the entries in the Botany section link to a page with photographs and diagrams. The explanations and diagrams are easy to understand and suitable for children as well as non-gardeners and non-English speakers. We cover topics from the basics like the parts of a flower to the Classification of Plants, and The Seed Site is already used by teachers in primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.
Some of the subjects on our pages are listed below. Click on the red name to go to the relevant page:
Parts of a Flower ~ A whole page photograph of a Primula flower, cut in half so you can see the flower parts. Petal (corolla), sepal (calyx), pistil (carpel), stigma, style, ovary, ovules, stamen, anther and filament labelled.
Flower Shapes ~ Some of the main flower shapes, with an outline of the shape, a description, and an example of a flower with that shape, including a photograph. Flower shapes illustrated are campanulate, funnelform, trumpet-shaped, salverform, tubular, urceolate, bowl-shaped, saucer-shaped, stellate, cruciform, labiate, papilionaceous, ligulate.
Flower Arrangements ~ How flowers are arranged on the stem, with a diagram and description of the arrangement, and a photograph for each type. Shows single, spike, raceme, panicle, cyme, verticillaster, corymb, umbel, compound umbel, capitulum.
Leaf Shapes and Arrangements ~ Some of the main leaf shapes, with a description of the shape, the Latin for that shape, and a photograph of a leaf of that shape. Includes sword-shaped, lance-shaped, ovate, elliptic, round, cordate, oblanceolate, spathulate, rhomboid, lobed, spear-shaped, pinnatisect, pinnate, bipinnate, tripinnate, trifoliate, palmate, digitate.
Underground Storage Organs ~ Bulbs, tubers, corms and rhizomes, with photographs and descriptions of each type.
Pollination and Fertilisation ~ An explanation of pollination and fertilisation, with photographs showing stamens, stigmas, ovules. Explains self-pollination and cross-pollination, with photographic examples.
The Development of Seeds ~ Shows the growth of a Passionfruit from pollination to ripeness, with photographs of the outside and inside of the fruit at several stages.
Fruits ~ Photographs and descriptions of the main types of fruit: berry, drupe, aggregation of drupes, pome, hesperidium, pseudocarp, follicle, legume, lomentum, silique, valvate capsule, porose capsule, loculicidal capsule, achene, cypsela, nut, nutlet, caryopsis, samara.
Parts of a Seed ~ A large photograph of the outside and inside of a seed. Testa (seedcoat), hilum, cotyledon (seed leaf), plumule (shoot), radicle (root) labelled.
Seeds ~ Photographs of over 600 seeds from dust-like to large, in order of size. Including large (and colourful) seeds and seeds with wings or papery edges.
Seed Dispersal ~ Descriptions of the main methods of seed dispersal: gravity, animals, force, wind and water. A page for each method, with a brief description of the method and a photograph of an example of seeds spread by this method. More detailed explanation, and examples of other plants which use this method of seed dispersal.
Germination - Germination information for over 1000 species, presented in chart form, with germination times for seeds sown by four different methods, at different types of the year.
Life Cycle of a Plant ~ a full-page diagram of the life cycle of a plant.
Hybrids ~ Explanation of how hybrids can occur in garden flowers, with diagrams, and a more detailed explanation of Mendel's laws.
Latin Names ~ An introduction to using Latin names, and a list of 70 popular plants, with their common and botanical names. A separate page giving the Meaning of over 150 Latin specific epithets.
Introduction to Plant Families ~ Explanation of why knowing the Family a plant belongs to can be useful. Descriptions of over 30 Plant Families, one per page, with their distinguishing features, popular genera in the Family, and photograph of a well-known plant of that Family.
Pods by Plant Family ~ with a brief description of the type and a photograph of an example of a seedpod typical of the Family. More detailed description, and examples of other plants in the Family.
Classification of Plants ~ Chart showing the Classification of Flowering Plants from Angiospermae to Cultivar. Also a Chart showing Plant Families grouped according to their Orders and Superorders under the Cronquist system. There's a brief explanation of the new APG III system here, and a chart showing the effect of this new system of classifying plants.
The Plant Profiles section is a Plant Dictionary with 200 plants, one to a page, giving their full botanical classification, as well as a description and large photograph of the flower, and photographs of the seed, seedpod and seedling.
Monocots and Dicots ~ An explanation of the differences between monocotyledons and dicotyledons, and a Chart showing the differences with photographic examples.
British Wildlife ~ An introduction to British Wildflowers, with a photograph, brief description, and growing information for 50 wildflowers, and photographs and descriptions of the most common British butterflies. Now includes instructions for making 48 credit-card size cards to help children identify some common British wildflowers. All you have to do is print off the pages, cut out the cards and laminate them. Read all about it here.
The Junior Seed Site ~ A pint-sized version of The Seed Site, with suggestions on growing plants from seed for children, including a mini-Plants Database with small coloured photographs of 60 easy-to-grow flowers, linked to the Plant Profile pages, and pages on seed sowing, seedlings and seed collecting tips. Includes templates and instructions to make seed envelopes to colour in.
The Seed Site Botany section ~ Hundreds of gardening and botanical terms, linked to photographs and diagrams.
Home Page ~ The Seed Site Home Page, with information about everything on our site.
There's a lot of information on The Seed Site (we have over 500 pages), so if you're looking for information on a particular topic, you can search our site here:
I hope you find something on The Seed Site that will be useful to you and your pupils. As well as the subjects listed above, there's lots more throughout our site. The main sections are:
The Seed Site is listed as a useful resource by these organisations: Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) ~ Royal Institution of Great Britain ~ Kew Gardens ~ BBC (Carol Klein - Primroses) ~ RHS Campaign for Schools Gardening ~ Edexcel BTEC Land-Based Studies (Unit 30) ~ Usborne Quicklinks (Plants - Website 4 and Website 8) ~ Primary UPD8 ~ Seasons South and North ~ Encyclopaedia Brittanica.com ~ Froebelian School ~ The Charles Darwin Trust ~ Liverpool Botanical Society ~ ACS Distance Education ~ Bright New Scotland (School Grounds and Biodiversity) ~ MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) ~ The Internet Directory for Botany ~ United States Botanic Garden ~ United States Department of Agriculture ~ Vocational Information Center (US) ~ Cornell University (Teacher Resources) (US) ~ Wayne State University (US) ~ University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (US) ~ Texas A&M University Vascular Plant Image Library (eg Dorotheanthus bellidiformis) (US) ~ NetTrekker (US) ~ University of Connecticut Renzulli Learning Systems (US) ~ Tutor Solutions (US) ~ Mrs. Mitchell's Virtual School (US)