Imbibition and germination experiments were conducted on the caryopses of wild oats (Avena fatua L.). The embryo envelopes, pericarp and aleurone layer, which completely cover the embryo-endosperm, do not form barriers against water uptake. The initial uptake of water is passive and the water moves across the pericarp with ease as it contains cracks; it is, however, transported across the aleurone layer through its cell walls into the endosperm and embryo of the caryopsis. The starchy endosperm enlarges due to water uptake causing the pericarp to rupture, thus exposing the aleuronelayer-covered seed. The aleurone layer is structurally heterogenous consistings of radially compressed irregular cells and cuboidal or radiallys tretched cells; the latter contains thicker walls. The former type is present along the abaxial side of the embryo and in the crease on the adaxial side of the caryopsis; the latter type covers the endosperm. The physical distention of the endosperm due to water uptake causes the rupture of the pericarp and the aleurone layer, and facilitates the emergence of the radicle and coleorhiza of the embryo during caryopsis germination.