Flowers have the reproductive organs of a plant. They are important for making seeds.
Not all plants have flowers. Some flowers grow separately on a plant and some flowers grow together.
Did you know that flowers can be boys or girls? Some are even both!
Flowers which have all male or all female parts are called imperfect. Flowers that have both male and female parts are called perfect.
Male flower parts
The male part of the flower is the stamen. It is made up of the filament and the anther.
- The filament is the stalk that the anther sits on top.
- The anther produces and stores pollen. Pollen is needed to mate with female plants.
Female flower parts
The female part of the flower is the pistil. It is made up of the stigma, carpel and style.
- The stigma is the tip of the pistil that receives pollen. It’s the sticky bulb you often see in the centre of a flower.
- The carpel is the ovary of the flower. It contains ovules which can become seeds. Humans also have ovules, they are the little eggs that grow into babies.
- The style is the stalk that connects the stigma to the carpel. It allows the pollen to get to the ovary.
Other parts of a flower
Petal: the colourful parts of the flower that attract insects and birds to help with pollination. All the petals together are called the corolla.
Sepal: the little green leaves that cover the outer part of a flower bud to protect the flower before it opens. Sometimes they are brown or the same colour as the petals.
Receptacle: the part of the stem where the flower is attached to the plant.
Did you know?
- Some flowers are eaten in salads, not all flowers though! Some are poisonous or have been sprayed with fertilisers.
- The largest flower in the world is the rafflesia which can grow to over 3 feet in diameter.
- Broccoli is actually a flower.
- Fruits and vegetables start out as flowers. When ovules in a flower have been fertilised with pollen, the flower transforms into a fruit or vegetable.
- Some flowers are used to make medicines.
- Flowering plants only appeared around 140 million years ago. Before that, the Earth was filled with non-flowering plants like ferns.
- A plant called Mimosa pudica has pink fuzzy flowers that look like pom poms. It’s a very sensitive plant that folds up its leaves when it’s touched.
- The number of stamen in a plant is usually equal to the number of petals in the flower.