The etymology of cotyledon brings us to a Greek word that alludes to that which has the form of Cup. This term came to Latin as cotylēdon.
That Latin word we have to state that since the first century it was used to refer to a plant called the navel of Venus. Specifically, we would have to wait until the 18th century, specifically until the year 1751, for Linnaeus to give it the meaning with which we use and understand it today.
In the field of botany, the cotyledon is called first sheet that arises in the embryo of a phanerogam plant. These plants are those that have visible reproductive organs in the flower, where fertilization takes place and the development of the seeds that house the embryos of the new specimens takes place.
The first leaves of these embryos are called the cotyledon. In the seedlings (denomination of the plants just sprout from the seed), the cotyledons can be differentiated from the rest of the leaves by the size. On the other hand, cotyledons have characteristics that secondary leaves do not have, such as the ability to digest albumen (the tissue that is around the embryo and is used as food after germination) or the fact of having different nutrients.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that, depending on where these cotyledons appear, plants are classified into two different types:
-The hypogea are those in which the aforementioned cotyledons appear underground.
-The epigeal plants are those that are characterized because they are born outside what is the earth.
Of course, regardless of whether they go outside or inside the earth, the cotyledons continue to have the same function. And it is none other than feeding the seedling.
Plants that have seeds with a single cotyledon are known as monocots. Corn, wheat, orchid and bamboo they are some of the monocotyledonous plants. In this group we can also include orchids or palm trees.
The dicotyledonousInstead, you have two cotyledons. Magnolia, avocado, cinnamon and pink They are part of the set of dicotyledonous plants.
It is important to bear in mind that cotyledons have a limited life: when the plant has already managed to develop the leaves that allow it to obtain Energy, they end up falling.
In the same way, we can highlight other relevant aspects about cotyledons such as the following:
-The development of them takes place during what is known as embryogenesis, which is composed of two phases: in the first, mitosis occurs, that is, the increase in the number of cells and in the second, what is called cell expansion.
-Among the nutrients that cotyledons have and that make them different from other leaves of a plant are both starch as would be the case with oil.