The Open Door Web Site
Part VII : Reproduction in Flowering Plants
Flowers and Reproduction Summary (useful for revision)
Cherry Blossoms, Parc Floral, Paris
River Daisies, Bristol, UK
Bluebells, Bristol, UK
REPRODUCTION IN PLANTS
Flowers and Reproduction
Flowers are the reproductive structures of flowering plants. Once the pollen has been transferred from one flower to another flower, fertilization takes place. The female parts of the fertilized flower then develop into fruits and seeds which are dispersed away from the parent plant. Later, when conditions are suitable, these seeds may germinate and grow into plants bearing flowers. In this way the cycle is continued.
Many plants produce flowers. When the flowers are young (in bud) some are protected by leaf-like structures called sepals. As the flower develops it opens and the sepals fold back or fall off, showing the petals. Some plants have colourful and sweet-smelling flowers, while others have flowers which are small, have no scent and are not easy to see.
Flowers are the reproductive structures of plants. Most flowers are hermaphrodite, this means that they have both male and female parts. The male parts are called stamens and it is in the anthers of the stamens that the pollen is made. The female parts of the flower are called carpels and it is in the carpels that the eggs (ovules) are made. The main problem for the plant is how to get the pollen, which contains the male sex cell, to the carpel of another flower. The brightly coloured flowers use certain types of animals to transfer their pollen. Some flowers depend on the wind to take the pollen from one flower to another flower. These flowers are less conspicuous (less easy to see).
Most of the animals which transfer pollen from flower to flower are insects. These flowers are called insect-pollinated flowers. The insects are attracted by the colour and scent of the flowers. The flowers provide food for the insects which visit them. At the bottom of the petals there are sacks which contain a sugary substance called nectar.
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