The New Student's Reference Work/Germination
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Germination, the process by which a spore develops a young plantlet. There are certain conditions of germination which are well understood. For example, the spore must have a certain amount of food-material in solution, of heat and of air (that is oxygen). Spores differ widely from one another in the amount of heat necessary for germination, some spores being able to germinate in temperatures which would be impossible in others. The word germination, however, is constantly applied in a popular way to the results which follow the planting of seeds, although this process is not really germination. When a seed germinates, the process does not consist in the formation of a new plant, but in the escape from the seed of a plant which has already been formed. Real germination is the formation of new plants by spores; while the germination of seeds is merely the escape of the new plant from the seed case. However, the conditions which favor the germination of spores are also the conditions which favor the so-called germination of seeds.