The term eleosome (from the Greek έλαιον, oil, and σωμα, body) means a reserve of nutrients (usually oils) arranged outside the seed of a superior plant; The eleosome is a small appendix rich in fatty substances present in some seeds, useful for dispersion.
Its presence is usually associated with a zoócora dispersion, basically by some species of ants (myrmecocoria), which use the eleosome as food, leaving the rest of the seed hidden underground and ready to germinate.
The eleosome is in fact particularly appreciated by the ants that transport the seeds to the anthill, and after consuming the eleosomes, they abandon them, providing in the way for their dissemination.
Eleosomes develop in various ways from seed tissues or from the tissues of flowers or fruits (exocarp, receptacle, tube, perigonum, stylus, etc.).
Since eleosomes are present in at least 11,000, and possibly up to 23,000 plant species, eleosomes are a prime example of convergent evolution between plant and animal species.