Herein, we sought to explore the contribution of cellulose biosynthesis to the shape and morphogenesis of hexagonal seed coat cells in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Consistent with seed preferential expression of CELLULOSE SYNTHASE9 (CESA9), null mutations in CESA9 caused no change in cellulose content in leaves or stems, but caused a 25% reduction in seeds. Compositional studies of cesa9 seeds uncovered substantial proportional increases in cell wall neutral sugars and in several monomers of cell wall-associated polyesters. Despite these metabolic compensations, cesa9 seeds were permeable to tetrazolium salt, implying that cellulose biosynthesis, via CESA9, is required for correct barrier function of the seed coat. A syndrome of depleted radial wall, altered seed coat cell size, shape, and internal angle uniformity was quantified using scanning electron micrographs in cesa9 epidermal cells. By contrast, morphological defects were absent in cesa9 embryos, visually inspected from torpedo to bent cotyledon, consistent with no reduction in postgermination radical or hypocotyl elongation. These data implied that CESA9 was seed coat specific or functionally redundant in other tissues. Assessment of sections from glutaraldehyde fixed wild-type and cesa9 mature seeds supported results of scanning electron micrographs and quantitatively showed depletion of secondary cell wall synthesis in the radial cell wall. Herein, we show a nonredundant role for CESA9 in secondary cell wall biosynthesis in radial cell walls of epidermal seed coats and document its importance for cell morphogenesis and barrier function of the seed coat.