Flowers are fascinating things. They bring us so much joy! I love the mystery which surrounds pollination.
Pollination — that’s what initiated this post. Trying to remember the parts of the flowers and how they work to create a seed has been a struggle (I keep getting the male and female parts mixed up….)
Basically, the parts are pretty simple. All flowers have pretty, colorful petals. They are what attract we humans and the pollinators to them. They also have sepals which are the green leaf-like petals at the base of the flower. Their job is to protect the flower bud before it opens. And they all have a stalk (peduncle) and a receptacle (where the parts of the flower are attached to the stalk).
The next parts are more tricky, however. I wish there was an easy rhyme to help me remember them.
Male Parts of Flower
Stamen — made up of the anthers* and the filaments**.
*typically yellow, they hold the pollen
** fine hair-like stalk which supports the anther
Female Parts of Flower
Pistil — made up of the stigma*, style** and ovary***.
*this female part is sticky to catch the pollen
**a tube-like structure which supports the stigma
***typically found at the base of the stigma, the ovary contains the ovules which are germinated by the pollen from the male anthers and become the fruit with seeds
One last thing to consider is the fragrance emitted by some flowers. The scent of a flower is created by the essential oils produced by the plant. This mixture of compounds is most often found in the petals. The oils combine and evaporate producing just the right scent to attract pollinators just at the right time.
I miss the scents that waif over my prairie during hot summer days and nights. Sometimes I dry prairie plants to bring inside to help carry me through the winter.
See the Parts of Flowers sung to Bruno Mars’ Locked out of Heaven.
Lucy Valitchka says
Donna, the Parts of Flowers sung by Bruno Mars had me smiling & almost dancing to its jazzy tune. What a way to learn plant parts. An instructor we had for Wisconsin Garden Club Federation Gardening School about a year ago told us a good way to remember parts of the flower. She referred to the female parts as “pistil packing mama”. I will always remember that. Thanks as always for your great informative blog.
Donna VanBuecken says
I should be able to remember “pistil packing mama,” too. What a great suggestion! Thanks for sharing, Lucy.