A classification system for seed (diaspore) monomorphism and heteromorphism in angiosperms

Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


'Seed heteromorphism' is a broadly- and loosely-defined term used to describe differences in size/mass, morphology, position on mother plants and ecological function (e.g. dispersal, dormancy/germination) of two or more seeds or other diaspores produced by an individual plant. The primary aim of this review paper was to characterize via an in-depth classification scheme the physical structural design ('architecture') of diaspore monomorphism and diaspore heteromorphism in angiosperms. The diaspore classification schemes of Mandák and Barker were expanded/modified, and in doing so some of the terminology that Zohary, Ellner and Shmida, and van der Pijl used for describing diaspore dispersal were incorporated into our system. Based on their (relative) size, morphology and position on the mother plant, diaspores of angiosperms were divided into two divisions and each of these into several successively lower hierarchical layers. Thus, our classification scheme, an earlier version of which was published in the second edition of 'Seeds' by Baskin and Baskin, includes not only heteromorphic but also monomorphic diaspores, the Division to which the diaspores of the vast majority of angiosperms belong. The scheme will be useful in describing the ecology, biogeography and evolution of seed heteromorphism in flowering plants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeed Science Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • amphi-basicarpy
  • amphicarpy
  • basicarpy
  • chasmogamy
  • cleistogamy
  • geocarpy
  • heteroarthrocarpy
  • seed (diaspore) heteromorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A classification system for seed (diaspore) monomorphism and heteromorphism in angiosperms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this