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Home > Biology > The world of plants > Growing plants


Growing plants

Flower Structure, Pollination and Fertilisation

Flowers are the organs of sexual reproduction in plants. They have the following important structures:

Table of flower parts

Sepalsprotect the unopened flower bud
Petalsmay be brightly coloured to attract insects
Stamensthe male parts of the flower consisting of the anther held up on the filament
Anthersproduce male sex cells (pollen grains).
Stigmathe top of the female part of the flower which collects pollen grains
Ovaryproduces the female sex cells (ovules)
Nectariesproduce sugary nectar which attracts insects
Labelled structures within a flower showing coloured petals, stigma (which sits above the ovary), ovary containing the ovule, nectary at the base of the flower. Stamens are made up of a long filament, which ends in an anther. The sepals are green leafy structures which lie beneath the petals.

Once you are sure that you can name the parts of the flower, the process of fertilisation is easy to understand. Just take a look at the following slideshow.

Pollen is transferred from one flower to another

Pollen is transferred from one flower to another, either by wind or insects

When pollen grains land on the stigma of a flower of the correct species they germinate. A pollen tube grows through the tissues of the flower until it reaches an ovule inside the ovary. The nucleus of the pollen grain (the male gamete) then passes along the pollen tube and joins with the nucleus of the ovule (the female gamete). This process is called fertilisation.

After fertilisation the female parts of the flower develop into a fruit. The ovules become seeds and the ovary wall becomes the rest of the fruit.


Flower in bloom

Class Clips

Video clip about self- and cross-pollination.

Learn more about plant reproduction:


Reproduction in plants


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