Outrageous Seeds

The insides of a seed carry the huge variety of genes necessary to make an oak tree or a prickly pear — or a marigold or lettuce. Here are some more extremes that seeds can go to.
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Giant Seed

The coconut is a pretty big seed. If you live where the temperature is usually 80 degrees or warmer and doesn't fall below 70 (USDA Zone 10 or south), you can plant a ripe coconut and grow a palm tree.

The Biggest Seed

The biggest seed in the world is the coco-de-mer palm tree, or double coconut. The huge seed can measure up to 3 feet around.

Lots and Lots of Seeds

Speaking of coconuts, plants that produce huge seeds don't make very many of them because it takes a lot of work and resources to make each one. But plants that make tiny seeds can sometimes make a lot of them — like this common weed. One knapweed plant can produce more than 1,000 seeds.

The Smallest Seed

You can't see some seeds without the help of a powerful microscope: The seeds of these orchids are tinier than a single grain of pollen or a speck of dust.

Identical Twins

Like peas in a pod, the seeds of a plant usually look the same, but ...

Multicolor Seeds

Indian corn seeds, or kernels, usually come in many colors, all on the same cob. Like siblings in the same family, they display genetic variations.

Long Time to Sprouting Time

When you plant a bean or a zinnia seed, you can expect to see a little seedling appear in about five or six days. But some plants take a long time to sprout — like holly berries, which contain seeds that need at least a year before they even think of germinating.

Made to Fly

The winged elm tree seed comes with its own little parasail. Here's the skeleton of the "sail."

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