What is Imbibition?

If one side of a piece of blotting paper is touched water surface, the blotting paper will gradually absorb water and becomes wet. We can do this experiment with a. piece of newspaper too. Imbibition is also a process of water absorption. Absorption of water by dry, semi-dry colloidal substances called Imbibition. More easily it can be said that the process of absorption of water by plant cell wall, protoplasm etc. is called imbibition. The amount of water absorbed by dry seeds during germination is done by imbibition.

The substances, which absorb water, are called Hydrophilic (water loving) substances. Hydrophilic substances contracted for shortages of water, again when it gets water become swollen by absorbing it.

It is seen that in winter the wooden doors and windows make gaps for contraction and in the rainy season they swells up by absorbing water and it become harder to open the doors and windows. It is a result of imbibition.


Importance of Imbibition to the Plants:

  • Imbibition is the initial step in seed germination.
  • Imbibition causes swelling of seeds and results in the breaking of testa.
  • Imbibition is dominant in the initial stage of water absorption by roots.
  • The water moves into ovules which are ripening into seeds by imbibition.