Flowers are important in the sexual reproduction of plants. They produce male sex cells (pollen grains) and female sex cells (contained in the ovules). These must meet for reproduction to begin - a process called pollination.

Parts of a flower

SepalProtects the unopened flower
PetalMay be brightly coloured to attract insects
StamenThe male part of the flower, comprising an anther attached to a filament
AntherProduces the male sex cells (pollen)
StigmaThe top of the female part of the flower, which collects pollen grains
OvaryProduces the female sex cells (contained in the ovules)

The female parts of the flower together are called the carpel.

Insect-pollinated flowers

Flowers with brightly-coloured petals are usually insect-pollinated flowers. Insects carry pollen from one flower to another.

The component parts of plant that allow reproduction: petal, anther, stamen, filament, stigma, ovary, ovule, nectary and sepal.Cross section through an insect-pollinated flower – the nectary produces sugary nectar to attract insects

Wind-pollinated flowers

Grasses have wind-pollinated flowers. They have small petals, and their stamens and stigmas hang outside the flower.

Close up of a plants stamen and stigma.  The stamen are attached to the ovary via the long thin filament.  The stamen are at the bottom and have a feathery appearance.Cross-section through a wind-pollinated flower