Stages of a Flowering Plant

Sprouting

Flowering plants sprout with either one or two seed leaves. If one, the plant is a monocotyledon, or, monocot, for short. Two leaves make the plant a dicot or dicotyledon. While roots grow down, vegetative matter grows up, including stems and more leaves. Eventually, there is enough growth and maturity that the plant is ready for the next stage.

Biennials and Perennials

If the plant lives for two growth seasons---a biennial---when winter or dormancy approaches, the plant creates food storage organs. These are the bulbs, corms and tubers from which new vegetative growth comes in the next active growing season. The plant might look as if it has died, the vegetative growth dying off, though the plant is only resting. Perennials (plants that live longer than two seasons) can behave similarly, except they don't produce food storage organs. During dormancy, perennials can lose their green growth to dry or cold periods. Evergreens keep their leaves.

Flowering

When a flowering plant is ready to reproduce, it must produce sexual organs for the purpose. Those sexual organs are flowers. Biennials have their flowering stage in their second and final growing season, annuals have it during their first and only growing season and perennials may wait years before they begin to flower, then do so every year until the end of their lives. The flowers produce "male" pollen that will be carried by wind or creature to the "female" part of a flower. If pollination is successful, sperm meets egg within the ovary of the flower, which is contained within a flower's pistil. A second sperm joins with nuclei found within the embryonic sac of the ovary.

Seed and Fruit

After pollination, a flowering plant spends its energy creating seed and fruit. The joined egg and sperm form a zygote, while the sperm fused with the nuclei create an endosperm. The zygote and endosperm end up as a seed, the zygote now an embryonic form of a plant, the endosperm providing food the new plant will use as it emerges from seed. Meanwhile, the ovary of the flower ripens into fruit.

Death

After the fruiting stage, both biennials and annuals enter the end stage of their lives. The vegetative growth dies. If reproduction was successful, new life will come from seed. Perennials might continue to grow for many years. These include woody plants like roses and trees. Some flowering plants live hundreds of years before succumbing to disease, pests or old age.

Keywords: stages of flowering plants, flowering plant reproduction, growth of flowering plants

About this Author

S. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media who specializes in making the complex clear. A freelancer for over 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover many topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews, learning a lot and talking to many interesting people.