One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in some seeds) a mass of nutritive material outside the embryo sac.
- ‘They were treated with 65% sulfuric acid for 10 min at room temperature to hydrolyse their impermeable waterproofing perisperm.’
- ‘Scarification was accomplished by piercing the seed coat and scraping a small portion of the perisperm with a sterile dissecting needle.’
- ‘The perisperm is present in abundance.’
- ‘Almost all of the seeds have popped along their long axis due to the swelling of the starchy perisperm during heating.’
- ‘In cucumber, muskmelon, and other seeds, a thin perisperm-endosperm envelope completely encloses the embryo.’
Early 19th century: from peri- ‘around’ + Greek sperma ‘seed’.
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