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Flower Anatomy


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The Flower:
The flower is the reproductive unit of some plants (angiosperms). Parts of the flower include petals, sepals, one or more carpels (the female reproductive organs), and stamens (the male reproductive organs).

The Female Reproductive Organs:
The pistil is the collective term for the carpel(s). Each carpel includes an ovary (where the ovules are produced; ovules are the female reproductive cells, the eggs), a style (a tube on top of the ovary), and a stigma (which receives the pollen during fertilization).

The Male Reproductive Organs:
Stamens are the male reproductive parts of flowers. A stamen consists of an anther (which produces pollen) and a filament. The pollen consists of the male reproductive cells; they fertilize ovules.

Fertilization:
Pollen must fertilize an ovule to produce a viable seed. This process is called pollination, and is often aided by animals like bees, which fly from flower to flower collecting sweet nectar. As they visit flowers, they spread pollen around, depositing it on some stigmas. After a male's pollen grains have landed on the stigma during fertilization, pollen tubes develop within the style, burrowing down to the ovary, where the sperm fertilizes an ovum (an egg cell), in the ovule. After fertilization, the ovule develops into a seed in the ovary.

Types of Flowers:
Some flowers (called perfect flowers) have both male and female reproductive organs; some flowers (called imperfect flowers) have only male reproductive organs or only female reproductive organs. Some plants have both male and female flowers, while other have males on one plant and females on another. Complete flowers have stamens, a pistil, petals, and sepals. Incomplete flowers lack one of these parts.


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