- These leaves (also termed cotyledons) emerge above the ground, as opposed to below the soil surface which is common in other plants, and are connected to the seed.
- A stalk (hypocotyl) sets the seed and cotyledons firmly into the soil.
- The first pair of leaves provide photosynthesis for the seedling. They drop off as soon as the mature leaves are produced.
Within the leaves are special cells containing chlorophyll, which transforms sunlight into usable energy for the plant. As the plant receives warmth, moisture, sunlight and carbon dioxide, it is able to transform these elements into nutrition for growth and maintenance. New leaves emerge, and soon an entire plant is formed.