Seeds of the Arabidopsis thaliana mutant primordia timing (pt) were germinated in 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid- containing liquid medium. The seedlings formed somatic embryos and nonembryogenic and embryogenic callus in vitro in a time period of approximately two to three weeks. Embryogenesis and callus formation were monitored with respect to origin, structure, and development. Ten days after germination globular structures appeared in close vicinity of and on the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Somatic embryos formed either directly on the SAM region of the seedling or indirectly on embryogenic callus that developed at the SAM zone. Globular structures developed along the vascular tissue of the cotyledons as well, but only incidentally they formed embryos. Upon deterioration, the cotyledons formed callus. Regular subculture of the embryogenic callus gave rise to high numbers of somatic embryos. Such primary somatic embryos, grown on callus, originated from meristematic cell clusters located under the surface of the callus. Embryos at the globular and heart-shape stage were mostly hidden within the callus. Embryos at torpedo stage appeared at the surface of the callus because their axis elongated. Secondary somatic embryos frequently formed directly on primary ones. They preferentially emerged from the SAM region of the primary somatic embryos, from the edge of the cotyledons, and from the hypocotyl. We conclude that the strong regeneration capacity of the pt mutant is based on both recurrent and indirect embryogenesis.