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Examples of Staminate Flowers

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Staminate flowers are those that have only male reproductive organs, or stamens, or have infertile female organs. Staminate and pistillate, or female, flowers often are located on the same plant, allowing the plant to self-pollinate, but some plants produce all staminate or all pistillate flowers, with different plants classified as either staminate or pistillate based on their flower type. Pollination and the resulting fruit production for such plants cannot take place without the presence of both types in close proximity.


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On the cucumber plant, the staminate flowers are easily distinguished from the pistillate flowers. While all of the flowers are small and yellow with a single layer of petals, the pistillate flowers on a cucumber vine have an ovary that's visible to the naked eye, and resembles a very small cucumber attached at one end to the stem and at the other to the flower. The staminate flower attaches directly to the stem. Cucumber relatives such as squash, eggplant and cantaloupe produce similar flowers, with males that attach directly to the stem and females that have visible, fruit-shaped ovaries.


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Chrysanthemums and other composite flowers are clusters of many small flowers, called florets, all of which are full flowers. Each chrysanthemum head has pistillate flowers, known as ray florets, and staminate flowers, known as disc florets. The disc florets are generally located toward the bottom of the flower cluster, and have a slightly more trumpet-like shape than the straight-sided ray florets. Pollination for staminate chrysanthemum florets is easier than for other staminate flowers, since the pollen has less distance to travel.


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Most plants can reproduce even if only one is present, producing either complete blossoms, which have fertile male and female organs in each flower, or by having a mixture of male and female flowers on each plant. Each holly bush, however, produces either male or female flowers. Because of this, the ilex species is referred to as dioecious. The common names of several varieties indicate whether the shrub produces male or female flowers, such as with Blue Prince and Blue Princess, but careful examination of the blossoms that appear at stem junctions reveals more-prominent stamens on the staminate flowers; the pistillate flowers have stamens present, but they're sterile and less dramatic.

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