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

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Flower is the reproductive unit in angiosperms:

It is meant for sexual reproduction. A typical flower has four different kinds of whorls arranged successively on the swollen end of the stalk or pedicel, called thalamus or receptacle. These are calyx, corolla, androecium and gynoecium.


The calyx is the outermost whore of the flower and the members are called sepals. Generally, sepals are green leaf-like and protect the flower in the bud stage. The calyx may be gamosepalous (sepals united) or polysepalous (sepals free).


Corolla is composed of petals. Petals are usually brightly colored to attract insects for pollination may be free or united. The shape and colour of corolla vary greatly in plants. Corolla may be tubular, bellshaped, funnel-shaped or wheel-shaped.


Androecium is composed of stamens. Each stamen which represents the male reproductive organ consists of a stalk or a filament and an anther. Each anther is usually bilobed and each lobe has two chambers, the pollen sacs. The pollen grains are produced in pollen-sacs. When stamens are attached to petals, they are epipetalous as in brinjal or eptphyllous when attached to perianth as in the flowers of lily. The stamens may be united into one bundle (monoadelphous) as in China rose, or two bundles (diadelphous) as in pea, or into more than two bundles (polyadelphous) as in citrus.


Gynoecium is the female reproductive part of the flower and is made up of one or more carpels. A Carpel consists of three parts namely stigma, style, and ovary. Ovary is the enlarged basal part, on which lies the elongated tube, the style. The style connects the ovary to stigma. The stigma is usually at the tip of the style and is the receptive surface for pollen grains. Each ovary bears one or more ovules attached to a flattened, cushion-like placenta.

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