SEDUM, in botany, etenecrep, a genus of the Decandria Pentagynia class and order. Natural order of Succulents. Sempervivx, Jussieu. Essential charac ter: calyx five-cleft ; corolla five-petalled ; scales nectariferous, five, at the base of the germ ; capsules five. There are thirty species, all of which are hardy, herabceous, succulent perennials, dura ble in root, but mostly annual in stalk, &c. which, rising in spring, flower in June, July and August, in different sorts ; the flowers consisting universally of five spreading petals, generally crowning the stalks numerously in corymbose and cy. mose bunches and spikes, appearing tole rably conspicuous, and are succeeded by plenty of seeds in autumn, by which they may be propagated; also abundantly by parting the roots, and by slipsor cuttings of the stalks in summer: in all of a hich methods they readily grow, and spread very fast into tufted bunches: being all of succulent growth, they consequently delight most in dry soils, or in any dry rubbishy earth. As flowering plant!, they are mostly employed to embellish rock-work, ruins, and the like places ; planting either the roots or cuttings of the shoots in a little mud or any moist soil, at first placing it in the crevices, where they will soon root and fix them selves, and spread about very agreeably. SEED, in botany, the essence of the fruit of very vegetably, Linnttus deno mainates it to be a deciduous part of the plant, containing the rudiments of the new vegetable, and fertilized by the sprinkling of the male dust. Plants are
furnished with one seed, as the sea-pink ; or two, as in umbelliferous plants: or three, as in the spurge ; or many, as in the ranunculus, &c. The shape, structure, and sides of seeds are various. Li omens denominates seeds the eggs of plants; and the fecundity of plants is often asto nishing: there are 4,000 seeds in a single sun-flower : more than 30,000 in a poppy: and in a single tobacco plant 360,000 have been enumerated. The annual produce of a single stalk of spleenwort has been estimated to be a million of seeds. Plants are disseminated in various methods : some are carried along by rivers and tor rents many hundred miles from their na tive soil, and cast upon a very different climate, tq which, however, by degrees, they render themselves familiar. Some are formed by wings, to be borne before the wind to distant places Birds, squir rels, &c. swallow seeds, and void them whole and fit for vegetation, and thus dis• Geminate them. There are others that disperse themselves by an elastic force, that resides either in the " calyx," as in oats and the ferns: in their " pappus," as in the " centaurea crupina," or in their capsule, as in the geranium.
Stan. See Swirls.