What Is a Simple Flower?
Flowers come in a variety of shapes, and some species display unusual structures, such as composite flowers containing hundreds of tiny individual florets, or the inconspicuous flowers of grasses and many deciduous trees. Simple flowers are one easily recognizable type of flower.
Simple flowers occur singly, rather than in clusters. Their petals tend to emerge in a circular pattern from the center of the flower, and if you divide the flower in half at any point, you will find symmetry. Simple flowers generally have between 3 and 6 petals.
Some flowers give the impression of being simple flowers but, in fact, belong to a group of flowers known as composite flowers. These flowers--which include common flowers like the sunflower, daisy and dandelion--actually consist of dozens to hundreds of tiny flowers arranged on a single base. Each tiny flower forms its own seed, called an achene.
Simple flowers familiar from your yard and garden include chickweed, anemone, strawberry, violet, lily, water lily, geranium and buttercup.
- "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers"; William A. Niering; 1979
- Backyard Nature: Composite Flowers