With summer almost upon us, it’s time to get out in the garden and enjoy nature at its best. If you’ve got a green-fingered friend, surprise them by learning something new about flowers today. Here are 15 interesting facts about parts of plants that might just inspire you to learn more.
Have you ever seen pollen on your clothing after spending time in the garden? Of course, you have! But do you know where this harmless yellow powder actually comes from? The spores are produced inside the anther of the male part of the flower, or stamen.
Find out more such interesting facts about parts of plants that’ll surprise you!! Since 1st grade we have been learning about plants, how they breathe, what they eat, etc., etc. But I am sure your mind surely needs a revision of all the plant facts that you have studied at school.
So, ready to explore the fun facts about plants? Let’s go then!!
Fun Facts About Parts Of Plants!!
1. A typical flower has four major parts: sepals, petals, stamens and a carpel.
2. When it comes to pollinating flowers by insects, the attraction of the flower is all in the aroma which is released from its petals. In order to produce this delightful scent, a flower has up to 150 different chemical compounds in its makeup. It’s these smells that lure bees and other insects in normally…
3. To stop them from flying off with another bee or insect, flowers have evolved a unique way of holding on to their ‘visitors.’ Flowers use gravity-defying hooks at the base of their petals which attach themselves to an unsuspecting bee after it lands for a sip of nectar. These hooks are specially designed to only detach from the flower once they’ve become covered in pollen, and as such it’s possible for a bee to visit many different flowers.
4. The scent of a flower isn’t always restricted to drawing in insects, some produce fragrances designed entirely with us humans in mind. Of course, not all flowers smell good – those items sold as ‘stink bombs’ or which have an unpleasant aroma are known as carrion flowers. Not so nice!
5. Once upon a time there were no gardeners, but instead, plants evolved their own ways of attracting pollinators by growing petals that resemble human figures… If you think about it, this is actually quite clever evolution on the part of plants! Petals that look like eyes, a nose and a mouth mean a flower looks very similar to an insect. This implies to the insect that they are being watched by another insect, which may be of interest.
6. Have you ever seen pollen on your clothing after spending time in the garden? Of course, you have! But do you know where this harmless yellow powder actually comes from? The spores are produced inside the anther of the male part of the flower, or stamen. When it’s ready for pollination, these tiny sacs puff out their contents over surrounding flowers – fertilizing them as they go!
7. Not all plants produce blooms with both male and female parts though – some have separate genders instead! On the plant pictured below the stamens are in the middle, surrounded by petals that aren’t fused together. These plants are referred to as Monoecious plants (they also produce brand new seeds when pollinated).
8. If you’ve ever seen an attractive flower with only one gender, it could well be another form of the monoecious plant. Here flowers contain either male or female parts on different flowers. They are known as Dioecious plants and they can fertilize each other through ‘selfing’ which means transferring pollen between the same sex parts of the same plant! This isn’t ideal for reproduction… but neither is having too few insects around!
9. Although it’s not always easy to tell just by looking at them, some plants have both male and female reproductive parts on the same plant. For example, dioecious plants could look like the one below! These are called syncarpous plants because each flower has all four of its major parts fused together into a single structure.
10. If you thought that was weird, wait till you learn about pistil syncarp. This is where two flowers fuse together by having separate female flowers join up to become one large flower. It’s actually an incredibly common process known as ‘polymorphism’ which means ‘many forms.’ The pistils grow together to form a seed pod – pollinated by bees using pheromones released from the stamens during fertilization! After the flower dies, the pod pops out a new set of seeds.
11. As the pistils are fused together to form a very long, tube-like shape, these types of flowers can attract bees that have long tongues – maximising their chance of being pollinated! The stamens are often much shorter though, so they don’t become entangled in the flower’s ovary. It’s pretty tricky for them to find it too… this is known as ‘cryptic sexuality.’
12. If you thought pistil syncarp was weird, now prepare yourself for gynoecy! This type of flower contains only female parts, with male organs being completely absent from its physiology. As such there are no male pollinators which mean self-fertilization (without insects) is possible since the flower can use its own pollen.
13. And if you thought gynoecia was weird, now it’s time for histo- syncarps! Flowers that contain both male and female parts (that is, hermaphrodite) also lack petals. Instead, these flowers may produce leaves in the place of petals that surround tiny stamens and pistils instead. This type of flower isn’t very common though, since it makes reproduction quite difficult…
14. And finally, have you ever seen a plant with tiny green balls all over its leaves? These are actually reduced leaves called bracts which are often mistaken for flowers or fruit by new gardeners! They have no reproductive parts and actually serve to protect the flowers and fruit as they grow. Bracts come in all shapes and sizes, but often appear quite ‘chunky’ or ’round.’
15. While we’re on the topic of reproductive parts. Here is an x-ray image showing how pollen grains attach to a bee’s leg! These tiny grains contain both male and female cells but must travel from one plant to another through pollination before they can germinate. Seeds that rely on wind or water for dispersal aren’t bothered about this little hitch, since they’re more likely to end up somewhere useful!
16. When a pollen grain attaches to a female flower, the plant must search for a way to insert them into the reproductive parts of its own flowers. As such it creates long tubes from surrounding cells and ‘injects’ the pollen right into the ovary, where fertilization occurs!
Stay tuned for more amazing facts!! Have a great day!!