You might think that when it comes to rose plants, the only important parts are the stem, leaves, petals and, of course, thorns. Stems hold the bloom, the leaves provide texture to different rose bouquets, the petals are responsible for making flowers pretty and the thorns simply exist in order to occasionally prick your finger.
It turns out there's more to a beautiful blossom than meets the eye. Actually, flower anatomy is much like human anatomy in that there are both male and female parts of a flower. Learning how these structures work can help you avoid making simple gardening mistakes and will allow your cultivating experiences to be all the greater.
Basic Plant Parts
Before we get to the flowers themselves, learning the basic plant parts may be helpful. According to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the basic elements of most plants include roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Roots are like tiny straws sucking up water and nutrients from the soil while helping to keep the plants from falling over or being blown away. Stems support the plant and move water and nutrients throughout the plant's entire system. Leaves are designed to take in sunlight and use photosynthesis to produce food, while flowers are the reproductive organs of plants that help develop fruits and seeds.
Asexual Flower Structures
Not all parts of the flower have sexual purposes. For example, Texas A&M University reports that the sepals and petals are neither male nor female. The sepals, which are like leaves and protect the flower before it blooms, are basically bud coverings that ensure the flower doesn't get damaged as its growing. The petals, believe it or not, are also modified leaves with the sole purpose of attracting other species that can pollinate the flower, like hummingbirds and bees.
According to FamilyManagement.com, the female parts of the flower are collectively known as the pistil. This is made up of the stigma, which is a sticky bulb in the center of the flower that collects pollen, the style, which the stigma sits on top of, the ovary, which houses the seeds and becomes a fruit when pollinated, and the ovules, which are the seeds themselves.
According to NatureGrid.com, the male parts of a flower are known as the stamen, which includes anthers and filaments. Anthers contain pollen sacs that can be brushed off onto visiting insects or birds while the filaments are long stalks that the anthers sit on. If you've ever seen a day lily, you probably know what these look like.