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Parts of an Angiosperm Flower

By Aaron Painter ; Updated September 21, 2017
flower image by krynio from Fotolia.com

The division of plants and trees known as Angiospermae comes from two Latin words meaning flower and plant. Thus, angiosperms are just that: flowering plants. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, angiosperms are plants that reproduce through flowering and form seeds inside a fruit. Flowers are categorized by how they are structured. “Perfect” flowers contain both male and female reproductive organs, while “imperfect” flowers lack one or the other. All angiosperms contain some or all of four basic parts, or layers.


Petals are normally colorful leaflike flaps of a flower.
crocus first flower spring flower image by Pali A from Fotolia.com

These are generally the most recognizable parts of a flower. Petals are the usually colorful flaps that contain the reproductive parts of the flower and recruit bees and birds to become pollinators. The flowers of many plants don't have petals, while others may possess elaborate numbers and groupings.


Sepals are normally green flaps at the base of a flower.
macro dahlia flower image by Furan from Fotolia.com

Think of sepals as the overall flower protectors. They are usually green, but sometimes they are colorful or disguised like a petal--as is the case with tulips. Sepals are flaplike structures at the base that enclose and protect the flower before it opens. They're also the muscles that allow certain flowers to open and close as light and weather conditions change.


A stamen is the male reproductive part of a flower.
stamen of flower image by JoLin from Fotolia.com

A stamen is the general term for the male reproductive part of an angiosperm. Most flowers posses several of these upright structures, which consist of two main sections. The filament, or “stalk,” of the stamen stands vertical inside the flower petals. Atop the filament sits the anther, which is responsible for making pollen.


The pistil is the female reproductive part of a flower.
pistil image by Ericos from Fotolia.com

The pistil is the female reproductive structure of an angiosperm. It consists of three parts: The tip of the pistil is called the stigma, which captures pollen on a sticky surface. The vertical stalk, or tube, which holds the stigma, is the style. Upon pollination, pollen travels down the style to the ovary, or egg. The ovary then produces seeds and becomes a fruit.


About the Author


Aaron Painter began as a garden writer in 1999, and has more than 12 years of professional experience in landscaping and horticulture and six years in broadcast journalism. Painter holds a BA in mass communication and horticulture from LSU, and now lives in Nashville, Tenn.