What's a 'True Leaf?'

Ever heard of a 'Cotyledon?' 

Say it this way:  Cot-i-lee-don

The cotyledon is the first set of leaves to pop up once a seed is planted.  But contrary to popular opinion, it's part of the seed and not a true leaf.  The cotyledon doesn't photosynthesize but provides the nutrients the seed needs to keep growing. 

As the plant grows stronger, new leaves appear that are called, 'true leaves,' because they are the ones that actually photosynthesize, look like the actual plant's leaves and will hang on to maturity. 

Many cotyledons look similar so it may seem like you've got nothing but one plant coming up in your garden when the seeds begin germination.  But hang on, because the true leaves are one their way! 

Cotyledon-that's a four syllable word!  So, head out to the garden with horticulture confidence and an expanded vocabulary.  You can thank me later!