Authors

Surface Feature Comparison Chart

 

Seed surface features are the topography or decoration of seed coats or fruit surfaces that can be seen under magnification. Some features are visible under low magnification, while others may require higher magnification. The core features listed here are a guide for authors and readers. Seeds or fruits could have a combination of several surface features.

 

Surface roughness

Granular

Glandular

Stippled 

Pitted

Covered with small, raised granules giving the surface a grainy appearance.

Covered with small, raised secretory glands. Glands can be regular or irregularly shaped, translucent or opaque, and may be distinctly coloured.

Covered with minute, shallow indentations giving the surface a sparkling appearance.

Small, shallow indentations or pits covering the surface.

Wrinkled

Scurfy

Porous

Bubbled

                 

Shallow, irregular folds and furrows covering the surface.

Covered with small, thin, fine scales or flakes that may be removable.

Surface pitted with layers of holes, as if bubbles had passed through; surface could look like hard or soft foam.

Covered with raised, hollow granules that give the surface a blistered appearance.

 

Scars

Striate

 

 

 

 

Irregularly shaped raised or concave surface marks with a rough appearance, left behind when a part detaches from the seed.

Irregularly-shaped surface marks, raised or concave, on the seed surface with a rough appearance.Irregularly-shaped surface marks, raised or concave, on the seed surface with a rough appearance.Covered with thin, raised or grooved parallel lines.

 

 

Reticulation

Raised walls or concave grooves forming a net-like surface pattern with flat, concave or convex interspaces.

Ridged

 Wavy ridged

Grid ridged

Honeycomb ridged

Ridges that intersect to form irregularly shaped polygonal cells in a net pattern.

Wavy ridges that intersect to form polygonal cells in a grid or net pattern.Wavy ridges that intersect to form polygonal cells in a grid or net pattern. 

Ridges that intersect to form square or rectangular cells of a regular size and shape that appear as a grid or stripes.

Ridges that intersect to form polygonal cells with a regular size and shape that appear similar to a honeycomb.

Grooved

Stellate grooved

Grid grooved

Grooves that intersect to create raised polygonal cells in a grid or net pattern.Grooves that intersect to form irregularly shaped polygonal cells in a net pattern.

Grooves that intersect to create jagged edged cells in a star-like pattern.

Grooves that intersect to form polygonal cells with a regular size and shape that appear as a grid or stripes.

 

Tubercles

Projections that give a bumpy or spiny appearance to the surface.

Warty

Irregular

Papillate

Spiny

Distinct, rounded projections that are large relative to the seed or fruit size.

Projections that are irregular in size, shape and position. They may be distinct or merge together.

Small, distinct, broad based projections, tapering to a rounded apex.

Small, distinct, pointed projections. They may have a broad or narrow base.

 

Raised & Grooved Surface Decorations

Veins

Nerves

Stripes

Ridges

Lines that intersect in a vein pattern that is flush or slightly raised from the surface.

Raised, parallel thick lines or thin ridges on the surface.

A series of linear surface decorations with the surface exposed between them.

Raised, thick ridges, sharp edged or rounded, usually in a series that may cover the entire surface. 

Irregular ridges

Ribs

Grooves

Cavities

Raised ridges that are generally not connected, forming an irregular ridged surface pattern.

Wide, prominent, linear ridges that are generally rounded and longitudinally situated on the surface.

Linear depressions that may be single or form a series of grooves over the surface.

Deep, irregularly shaped depressions in the surface.

 

Other Surface Decorations

Hairs

Bristles

Spines

Spikes

Fine, flexible, linear outgrowths that can be short, long, forked, star shaped, curled or gland tipped. May be sparse, dense or woolly.

Linear outgrowths that are semi-flexible with solid bases, thicker than hairs.

Linear outgrowths that are stiff with expanded bases, thicker than bristles.

Thick outgrowths that have a flared base and are thicker than spines.

Hooks

Scales

Wings

Fibres

Bristles or spines with curved or backwards pointing tips, or with secondary bristles along their length.

Large, flattened, thin flakes overlapping with each other to cover the surface; can be papery or waxy.

Thin, flattened, generally papery extension of a seed or fruit edge. Variable in size, shape and thickness.

Long, flexible threads, thicker than hairs, that densely cover and obscure the surface.

Authored by:

 

Drawings by:

 

Reviewed by:

Jennifer Neudorf, Angela Salzl, Taran Meyer, and Ruojing Wang

Saskatoon Laboratory, Seed Science and Technology Section

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

 

Taran Meyer

Saskatoon Laboratory, Seed Science and Technology Section

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

 

Deborah J. Meyer

Plant Pest Diagnostic Center

California Department of Food and Agriculture, USA

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