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Which seeds are green in color?

Which seeds are green in color?

There are a variety of seeds that are green in color when fully mature and ready for harvesting. Green seeds occur in certain fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other plants. The green color usually comes from chlorophyll, which is the pigment plants use for photosynthesis. Some common green seeds include peas, beans, okra, cilantro, basil, spinach, chia, and kiwi. Let’s take a closer look at which seeds tend to be green.


One of the most well-known seeds that is green is the pea. Pea plants produce pod fruits that contain the seeds inside. Peas are one of the oldest cultivated vegetable crops, dating back to around 11,000 years ago. There are several different varieties of peas, including green peas, snow peas, snap peas, split peas, and field peas. All pea pods contain small, round green seeds inside. The seeds have a slightly rounded, irregular shape and a smooth surface. Peas contain chlorophyll, carotenoids, and other pigments that give them their signature green hue.


Like peas, beans are legumes that produce pods containing small seeds inside. Common beans such as green beans, string beans, and snap beans all have green seeds. There are also many varieties of shelling beans that have green seeds, including lima beans, fava beans, cranberry beans, flageolet beans, and edamame (soybeans). Bean seeds are generally oval or kidney-shaped. Their green color comes from chlorophyll. Unripe bean seeds may start out lighter green and then darken as they mature. Some varieties like black beans and pinto beans have seeds that turn more brownish or spotted as they mature.


Okra is a warm weather vegetable in the mallow family that produces large green seed pods. Inside each okra pod are dozens of small, oval green seeds arranged in vertical rows. Okra seeds resemble tiny kidney beans in their size and shape. When okra pods are harvested young, the seeds inside are still soft and green. As the pods mature on the plant, the seeds become harder and darker. The mature seeds maintain a greenish tint from chlorophyll. Okra seeds can be collected from mature pods and planted to grow new okra plants.


Cilantro, also called coriander, is an herb grown both for its flavorful leaves and its dried seeds. Cilantro belongs to the carrot family. The round umbels of tiny white flowers produce small, spherical seeds. Cilantro seeds are light green or olive green in color. They have a ridged, pitted surface and aroma reminiscent of the cilantro leaves. Cilantro seeds are used as a spice in their dried form. The green color comes from chlorophyll as well as essential oils like linalool that give cilantro its distinct flavor.


Like cilantro, basil is a leafy herb that also produces small green seeds. Basil seeds form inside little black or brown seed pods that develop after the flowers bloom. There are many different varieties of basil including sweet basil, holy basil, lemon basil, and Thai basil. All basil seeds tend to be tiny, oval, and green. Basil seeds are edible and have a mild, nutty flavor. They can be used as a spice or soaked in water to make a flavorful drink. The green color of basil seeds comes from chlorophyll.


Spinach is another green leafy plant grown for its edible leaves that also produces green seeds. Spinach plants produce small flowers that form into seed pods containing dozens of tiny seeds. Spinach seeds are round with a flattened, disk-like shape. Fresh spinach seeds have a green tint from chlorophyll, although some varieties may have grayish-brown seeds when dried. Spinach seeds can be planted to grow new spinach plants. The seeds are also edible and contain beneficial nutrients.


Chia is an herb grown for its highly nutritious seeds. Chia seeds form in small, fuzzy flower heads on the chia plant. The tiny oval seeds range from grayish-green to dark green in color. When soaked in liquid, chia seeds develop a mucilaginous coating that gives them a distinctive gel-like texture. The green color of chia seeds comes from chlorophyll as well as other phytochemicals like polyphenols. The popularity of chia seeds has grown in recent years due to their many health benefits.


Inside each brown, fuzzy kiwi fruit are dozens of tiny green seeds. Kiwi seeds are small, soft, and oval-shaped. Since the flesh of the kiwi is also green, the seeds blend in and are hardly noticeable when you eat a kiwi. However, the seeds can be seen if you slice a kiwi open. Kiwi seeds contain chlorophyll and other plant compounds that give them a bright green color. The seeds are completely edible when you eat a whole kiwi fruit.

Other Green Seeds

In addition to the seeds above, there are some other fruits, vegetables, and plants that may contain soft, green seeds when mature if allowed to fully develop on the plant:

  • Tomatoes – Fully ripe tomato seeds are surrounded by green gel.
  • Peppers – Interior seeds are encased in pale green gel.
  • Eggplants – Small, round seeds are slightly greenish.
  • Green beans – Interior seeds start out pale green.
  • Zucchini – Inner seeds have a faint green tint.
  • Pumpkins – Seeds are light green before drying.
  • Melons – Immature seeds are light green and soft.
  • Cucumbers – Inner seeds start off pale green.
  • Squash – Seeds begin green before maturing.
  • Amaranth – Tiny grain seeds range from gold to green.
  • Lettuce – Developing seeds have a greenish tint.

The seeds from these fruits and vegetables may start out pale green and then become more tan or brownish as they fully mature and dry out. Their young green color comes from chlorophyll formed during the early stages of development.


Many edible plant seeds contain chlorophyll while they are developing, which gives them a signature green color. Some of the most common green seeds come from peas, beans, okra, cilantro, basil, spinach, chia, kiwi, and other leafy greens. Green seeds tend to come from the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and plants that are green in their vegetative parts. In addition to chlorophyll, other pigments in some seeds can impart a greenish tint. The green color of seeds comes from active photosynthesis while the seed is still forming and maturing on the mother plant. Once seeds fully dry out, they typically lose their green hue.

Seed Shape Color
Peas Round, irregular Green
Beans Oval, kidney-shaped Green
Okra Oval Green
Cilantro Round Green
Basil Oval Green
Spinach Round, disk-shaped Green
Chia Oval Green
Kiwi Oval Green

This table summarizes the common shapes and colors of some popular edible green seeds. The green color primarily comes from chlorophyll pigments.

In summary, many fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other plants contain green seeds. Chlorophyll gives the seeds their distinctive green hue, especially when they are still young and developing. Some of the most well-known green seeds include peas, beans, okra, basil, cilantro, spinach, chia, and kiwi. As seeds fully mature and dry out, they often lose some of their vibrant green color.

Green seeds occur in a diverse array of edible plants that are green in their leaves or fruits. The green color of seeds signifies active photosynthesis and chlorophyll production during the seed’s growth phases. Some seeds maintain their greenish tint when they reach maturity and others darken or lighten as they dry. The next time you bite into a green fruit or veggie, take a look inside – there’s a good chance you’ll spot some tiny green seeds!