After fertilization the ovum-nucleus divides and cell-formation proceeds rapidly, especially in the lower part of the ovum, in which the cotyledon and axis of the embryo are differentiated; the long, tangled suspensor of the cycadean embryo is not found in Ginkgo.
In other cases this growing-point becomes active at once, there being little or no elongation of the hypocotyl and tbe cotyledon or cotyledons remaining in the seed.
P g PY en P however, the cotyledon is not really terminal.
But the presence of a second cotyledon in grasses is extremely doubtful, and though there may be ground for reconsidering the position of Nymphaeaceae, their association with the grasses as a distinct class is not warranted by a comparative examination of the members of the two orders.
In many Monocotyledons the terminal cell forms the cotyledonary portion alone of the shoot of the embryo, its axial part and the root being derived from the adjacent cell; the cotyledon is thus a terminal structure and the apex of the primary stem a lateral one - a condition in marked contrast with that of the Dicotyledons.
The cotyledon and stem grow up vertically through the prothallus, the root turning downwards into the soil.
It is based upon the fact that the histological differentiation of the epidermis of their root is that generally characteristic of Monocotyledons, whilst they have two cotyledons - the old view of the epiblast as a second cotyledon in Gramineae being adopted.
In albuminous Monocotyledons the cotyledon itself, probably in consequence of its terminal position, is commonly the agent by which the embryo is thrust out of the seed, and it may function solely as a feeder, its extremity developing as a sucker through which the endosperm is absorbed, or it may become the first green organ, the terminal sucker dropping off with the seed-coat when the endosperm is exhausted.