How to Determine Ovules From Seeds in a Bean Flower

Overview

A bean's seed develops from the ovule of a fertilized flower. While a bean flower still has its petals, only the ovary, which contains the ovules, is visible to the naked eye. Inside the ovule, the bean seeds are in their earliest stage of development and will not be readily visible. Once the flower's petals drop and the pods inside the ovule begin to mature, the seeds will develop inside the pod.

Step 1

Pick off a fertilized flower (Bean plants are self-fertile. Fertilization will occur within a week of the flower opening).

Step 2

Remove the petals to reveal the inner parts of the flower. The female portion or pistil of the flower is topped by the long style with a yellow stigma on top. The 10 stamens or male organs surrounding it are male parts. Remove them.

Step 3

Slice the ovary in half, lengthwise. The ovary of the bean flower is the swollen portion at the base of the style (the long white appendage). Inside the ovary is the bean flower's ovule.

Step 4

Examine a bean flower a week or so after its petals have dropped away. The swollen green growth developing where the flower used to be is the bean plant's pod.

Step 5

Cut or pull open a bean pod. Inside the pod are the bean's individual round, green seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Beans
  • Plant Physiol: Occurrence of 9.5 Cellulase and Other Hydrolases in Flower Reproductive Organs Undergoing Major Cell Wall Disruption
Keywords: bean ovules, bean flowers, bean seeds, bean parts

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Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.