Some plants use flowers to reproduce. The flowers contain all the parts needed for the reproduction process.
This lesson explains how all of these parts are used to create the next generation of flowering plants.
Parts of a Flower
A flowering plant is an angiosperm, which is any plant that produces a flower or fruit. The sole purpose of the flower is to allow the plant to reproduce. Each part of the flower plays a role in the steps of reproduction.
Some flower parts are sterile but still aid in the process of reproduction. There are male gametes and female gametes. They are both directly involved with creating the next generation of that plant; therefore, it is sexual reproduction. All the parts they need to reproduce are in a single flower. Pollen may spread from plant to plant but can only reproduce with the same species of plants. Let’s take a look at the different parts of the flower.
Steps in Fertilization
The flower is formed to begin the process of reproduction.
The female parts will create an ovule, or unfertilized egg. The egg (or eggs) will remain in the ovary and wait to be fertilized. The male parts (in particular, the anther) will produce pollen, which contains the sperm needed to fertilize the egg.Meanwhile, the sterile parts of the flower also begin to do their jobs. The petals and the fragrance of the plant attract small creatures like insects, small birds, and bats. Although flowers attract many small animals, let’s stick with using the bee as an example for this lesson.
Bees fly around the flower, usually getting nectar, a sugary substance that the bees use to make honey. While the bee is flying around the flower, pollen grains located at the top of the anther stick to its feet and body.The bee will travel from flower to flower of different plants, dropping and collecting pollen along the way. When a bee takes the pollen from one flower to another of the same species of flowering plants, the fertilization process kicks into gear. The pollen will drop onto the sticky stigma of the carpals (the female part). The pollen will then travel down the tube and the sperm will make its way to the ovary for the waiting unfertilized ovule, the egg.
Fruit and Fertilization
The newly-fertilized egg becomes a seed and remains in the ovary until it is ready to be dispersed. The ovary will also mature around the seed and aid the seed in its next part of the journey. The ovary will mature into a fruit.
The fruit can be fleshy or dry tissue. It will surround the seed and not only protect it, but help disperse the seed to be planted. There are many different ways in which a fruit can aid in this process. Some fruits are made to be eaten, and the seed actually passes through the digestive system of animals unharmed. The animal will actually be the one to drop the seed where it will be planted.
Some fruits form a hard shell-like protection so that the seed becomes hard to access. There are also some that have hooks, springs, or spines that will cling onto animals to be dropped later.Although there are many ways for the seeds to be dispersed, the goal is for them to find a place to be planted. The seed will soon find its way into the soil. After a little water and a little sun, a baby plant, a seedling, will sprout. This seedling represents the next generation of angiosperm, a flowering plant.
Flowering plants, angiosperms, are plants that use flowers to reproduce. Although not all parts of the flower are actually used in reproduction, they all work together to develop the next generation of flowering plants. Small animals, such as insects, small birds, and bats, carry pollen from one flower to another so that the sperm, which is found in the pollen, can be transferred and make its way to the egg waiting in the ovary. After fertilization, the ovary will ripen into a fruit. The fruit will help aid the seed in dispersal. Eventually, the seed will be planted and a seedling will sprout.
Allow this video lesson on flowering plants to prepare you to:
- Provide the definition of angiosperms
- Name the parts of a flowering plant
- Point out the sterile parts as well as female and male parts of a flowering plant
- Discuss the steps involved in the fertilization process
- Describe the role of the fruit subsequent to fertilization