Flowering plants contain every component needed for true reproduction. The male structure, called the stamen, contains a filament stalk, which supports an anther. The female structure of plant reproduction is called the pistil. This contains the stigma, which is used to catch pollen. The female plant structure also includes the ovary and the style, which connects the ovary and the stigma. All of these parts work together in the process of flower pollination.
Pollen is key to the fertilization process and is created in the anther. Once mature, this pollen is released. Every grain of pollen holds two separate sperm cells. Most plants require cross-pollination, where pollen travels on the wind or by insects and is brought to another flower. Some plants, however, are self-pollinating, and pollen moves only within one single flower. In either case, pollen must attach to the stigma of a flower for fertillization to occur. One pollen has attached, it triggers the transportation of sperm to the ovule.
Fertilization and Seed
Once one sperm reaches and fertilizes the egg, a seed begins to develop. The second sperm combines with cells known as polar nuclei, and an endosperm is created. This endosperm contains starch and serves as food for the growing seed. Over time, the ovary grows and becomes fruit.