Within these is the albumen or endosperm, constituting the flowery part of the seed.
In many aquatic plants, the endosperm of the seed is absent or very scanty.
Germination is often slower where there is a store of available food in the perisperm, or in the endosperm, or in the embryo itself, than where this is scanty or wanting.
If in its extension to contain the new formations within it the embryo-sac remains narrow, endosperm formation proceeds upon the lines of a cell-division, but in wide embryo-sacs the endosperm is first of all formed as a layer of naked cells around the wall of the sac, and only gradually acquires a pluricellular character, forming a tissue filling the sac. The function of the endosperm is primarily that of nourishing the embryo, and its basal position in the embryo-sac places it favourably for the absorption of food material entering the ovule.
The embryo consists of an axis bearing two or more cotyledons and ending below in a radicle; it lies in a generally copious food-storing tissue (endosperm) which is the remains of the female prothallus.