The distribution of Datura stramonium agglutinin over different tissues of D. stramonium L. seeds was visualized by immunocytochemical techniques and quantified by agglutination assays. The lectin occurs predominantly in the outer seed tissues (seed coat and seed epidermis), where it is associated, at least in part, with the cell walls. Developing D. stramonium seeds secrete newly synthesized lectin polypeptides into the incubation medium, which confirms the extracellular location of the lectin. Imbibition of mature decoated seeds results in a rapid and highly specific release of lectin. Indeed, imbibition solutions contain almost exclusively the lectin together with a few other carbohydrate-binding proteins; this is indicative of the predominance of these proteins in the seed surface layer. The presence of important amounts of lectin in the outer tissues of the seed is consistent with a possible role in the mediation of cell-cell interactions.