Theophrastus, De Causis Plantarum

LCL 471: 54-55

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De Causis Plantarum I

of all plants, since every seed contains in itself a certain amount of food. This is why they are able to survive for some time, and do not, like the seeda of animals, perish directly on separation from the parent (except for the seedsb of oviparous animals, for these survive, since they contain food, as we said,c and at the same time a protection for the starting-point).

Some seeds however survive longer than others,7.2especially when close-textured, dry and woody (like those of the date-palm);d for they allow no entrance from without nor contain within themselves a fluid liable to corruption. Hence they neither get wormy (like the seeds of cereals) nor dry out (like those of vegetables), but the seed preserves the starting-point by sealing it off within itself.

But the presence of food in all can also be seen from this: seeds that appear quite dry and as it were husk-like, like those of vegetables, start to grow at their proper seasons if they get even the slightest amount of moisture,e and are on this account kept in upper

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theophrastus-de_causis_plantarum.1976