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Flower Parts of a Tulip

By Athena Hessong ; Updated September 21, 2017
Tulips have perfect flowers since they contain both male and female parts.
peach and orange tulips image by Jorge Moro from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The parts of a tulip flower play a role in the reproduction of the plant. Tulips have perfect flowers, not from their beauty, but because they contain both male and female parts in their structure, making them hermaphroditic, according to Colorado State University Extension. This means that tulips do not need other flowers to pollinate.


The petals and sepals combined over evolution to produce a single organ, the tepal.
tulip image by ana malin from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The tepals combine the petals and protective sepals into one organ. Unlike other flowers, with separate green sepals, the tepals of tulips envelop the flower, replacing the petals; but like the petals, the tepals have bright colors and scents for attracting pollinators. Since tulips contain tepals in multiples of three, they can be identified as monocots.


The very center of the tulip contains the stigma at the end of the pistil for accepting pollen.
Red tulip pistil image by Norman Chan from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The female portion of the tulip, the pistil, has a rounded bottom and a tapered top, known as the stigma. This stigma accepts pollen deposited onto the tip where it travels down the style to the ovary of the tulip to pollinate the unfertilized seeds inside, known as the ovules.


The dark tips of the anthers show the tulip pollen waiting to be transferred to the stigma.
pink tulip image by Lena Grönwall from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The male portion of the tulip, known as the stamen, contains two parts which produce pollen and hold it aloft for pollination. The pollen begins life in the anthers, which are held up by the filaments. When a pollinator brushes up against the anther it picks up the tulip pollen which has the potential to be moved to the stigma so it can pollinate the flower.