One flower can populate a vast field of beautiful wildflowers and one fallen apple can eventually grow a handful of trees. Do you ever wonder how flowers grow and multiply? The process is fascinating to scientists and nature lovers alike. In fact, everyone, even those who simply enjoy the flowers in their bouquets and the fruits in their kitchens, would be amazed at how flowers and plants reproduce with the help from the forces of nature.
There are many plants that rely on wind movement to pollinate and reproduce. Grass, weeds, and even large pine trees have pollen that is small and light, which makes it easy for the wind to pick it up. The pollen lands on other plants as the wind calms and fertilization occurs.
The term, “worker bee” is not just used for your workaholic friends. Worker bees are a type of bee that has the job of collecting pollen, which is a small but incredibly important step in how flowers grow. These bees collect pollen and nectar from flowers in order to create the wax they need to build a hive. The queen bee creates the wax in her abdomen, which she uses to build the chambers (cells) used to house eggs. In this complex process, bees play a very important role in the pollination of flowers and plants. Tiny grains of pollen stick to a bee’s legs and body as they fly from flower to flower. Each time they land on a plant, the pollen brushes off their body to help the fertilization of the flower. It is said that bees are responsible for over 100 of the worlds flowering food crops (including apples and almonds) generating 14 billion dollars a year in produce. However, in recent years an astounding 80% of the US and Europe bee population has vanished in what is known as Colony Collapse Disorder, which will lead to global repercussions in agriculture and economy.
Most plants cannot travel so they must rely on animals and wind to help scatter their seeds. Seeds come in a variety of sizes ranging from roses and other small flower seeds to large acorns and pinecones. Various animals are responsible for how flowers grow by spreading these seeds. For example, tree squirrels are one of the most important animals in Oak tree population and blackbirds aid in seed dispersal of blackberries as they feed off the fruit.
Many plants and flowers, such as lilies and Tulips, reproduce from bulbs. Many people refer to bulbs as any flower that houses an underground storage structure. The underground storage structure differs from other plant and flower reproduction processes in that the bulb stores the entire life cycle of itself in the bulb (essentially both the female and male parts). The parent plant produces buds (bulbs) that split off to start and grow a new plant.
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