Q11. What is a flower? Describe the parts of a typical angiosperm flower.


A flower can be defined as the reproductive unit of any flowering plant (angiosperms). Flowers carry out sexual reproduction in angiosperms. A typical flower is a modified stem with a condensed axis. A flower has four different parts i.e., the calyx, corolla, androecium, and gynoecium. Androecium and gynoecium represent the male and female reproductive organs of a flower (respectively). Bisexual flowers are those which contain both androecium and gynoecium, while unisexual flowers contain either gynoecium or androecium. The corolla and the calyx are generally distinct, but may sometimes be fused (called perianth). A flower that contains all four floral parts is called a complete flower.

Parts of flowers

(A) The calyx forms the outermost whorl of a flower, which contains sepals. They

are green, leaf–like structures that cover and protect the flowers during the bud stage.

When the sepals of a flower are free, they are called polysepalous, while fused sepals of

a flower are called gamosepalous.

(B) The corolla of a flower is a layer that lies inside the calyx. It contains beautifully

coloured petals, which help in attracting insects for pollination. When the petals are free,

they are called polypetalous, while fused petals are called gamopetalous.

(C) The androecium or the stamen is the male reproductive part of a flower. It

consists of two parts, the filament and the bilobed anther. The bilobed anther is the site

for meiosis and the generation of pollen grains.

(D) Gynoecium represents the female reproductive part of a flower. It consists of

an ovary. The ovary is connected by a long tube (called style) to the stigma. The ovary

bears numerous ovules attached to the placenta.