Male & Female Parts of Flowers

The reproductive parts of flowers vary widely depending on the plant species. Some flowers have only female parts. Others have only male parts. Many contain both. In fact, most common garden flowers have both male and female reproductive organs. These are called "perfect" flowers, according to the University of Illinois.

Male Parts

Stamens contains the male reproductive organs of the flower. They are composed of two parts. The first part is the filament. This is a very thin strand that arises from the center of the flower. The filament is tipped with an anther, which are usually bright yellow or, in some cases, brown. The anther creates and stores the pollen. Together, each filament and anther compose one stamen. Most flowers have several stamens clustered together in the middle of each bloom.

Female Parts

The pistil contains the female parts of a flower, according to the University of Arizona. The pistil rises up from the center of the flower. It is surrounded by stamen. The top of the pistil, which is called the stigma, has a sticky surface that collects pollen from the nearby anthers. At the bottom of the pistil lies the ovary, which contains the seeds. The tube located between the stigma and ovary is called the style. It is hollow.

Fertilization (Pollination)

The male and female parts of flowers work together to ensure that the flowers produce seeds and fruit. Insects are attracted to the flower blossom by the scent of nectar or by the bright colors. As they search for nectar, they brush against the anthers, getting pollen on their bodies and feet. When the pollen-covered insects alight on the stigma, the pollen falls onto the sticky surface on the stigma. The pollen then travels down the style, or tube, and fertilizes the seeds in the ovary. Many fruit trees only have male or female parts, so they must be planted in pairs in order for fertilization to occur and fruit to develop.

Keywords: flower reproduction oregons, parts of flowers, male and female

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.