A flower is a special kind of plant part. Flowers are also called the bloom or blossom of a plant. The flower grows on a stalk – a thin node – which supports it. Flowers have petals. Inside the part of the flower that has petals are the parts which produce pollen and seeds.
Flowers are the reproductive structure of flowering plants, which are plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called the Angiosperms.
In many plants, a flower is its most colourful part. We say the plant 'flowers', 'is flowering' or 'is in flower' when this colourful part begins to grow bigger and open out. There are many different kinds of flowers in different areas in the world. Even in the coldest places, for example the Arctic, flowers can grow during a few months.
Flowers may grow separately on the plant, or they may grow together in an inflorescence.
Structure of flowers[change | change source]
To investigate the structure of a flower, it must be dissected, and its structure summarised by a floral diagram or a floral formula. Then its family can be identified with the aid of a flora, which is a book designed to help you identify plants.
Four basic parts[change | change source]
Flowers have four basic parts, from the outside in they are:
- The perianth, the vegetative parts
- The calyx: the outermost whorl consisting of units called sepals. These are often green and enclose the rest of the flower in the bud. They may be absent, or they may be petal-like in some species.
- The corolla: the petals, usually thin, soft and often colored to attract animals that help pollination.
- The reproductive parts
- The androecium, the male part, is the stamens
- The gynoecium, the female parts,
Although this arrangement is typical, plant species show a wide variation in floral structure. The modifications produced in the evolution of flowering plants are used by botanists to find relationships among plant species.
Flowers are an important evolutionary advance made by flowering plants. Some flowers are dependent upon the wind to move pollen between flowers of the same species. Many others rely on insects or birds to move pollen. The role of flowers is to produce seeds, which are contained in fruit. Fruits and seeds are a means of dispersal. Plants do not move, but wind, animals and birds spread the plants across the landscape.
Since the ovules are protected by carpels, it takes something special for fertilisation to happen. Angiosperms have pollen grains comprising just three cells. One cell is responsible for drilling down through the integuments, and creating a passage for the two sperm cells to flow down. The megagametophyte has just seven cells. Of these, one is the egg cell; it fuses with a sperm cell, forming the zygote. Another cell joins with the other sperm, and dedicates itself to forming a nutrient-rich endosperm. The other cells take auxiliary roles. This process of "double fertilisation" is unique and common to all angiosperms.
Evolution of flowers[change | change source]
Flowers are modified leaves possessed only by the flowering plants (angiosperms), which are relatively late to appear in the fossil record.
The earliest known fossils of flowers and flowering plants are from 130 million years ago, in the Lower Cretaceous. The flowering plants have long been assumed to have evolved from within the gymnosperms; but the known gymnosperms form a clade which is distinct from the angiosperms. It has been concluded that the two clades diverged (split) some 300 million years ago.
Flowers for people[change | change source]
As decoration[change | change source]
Flowers have long been admired and used by humans. Most people think that flowers are beautiful. Many people also love flowers for their fragrances (scents). People enjoy seeing flowers growing in gardens. People also enjoy growing flowers in their backyards, outside their homes. People often wear flowers on their clothes or give flowers as a gift during special occasions, holidays, or rituals, such as the birth of a new baby (or a Christening), at weddings (marriages), at funerals (when a person dies). People often buy flowers from businesses called florists.
As a name[change | change source]
Some parents name their girl children after a flower. Some common flower names are: Rose, Lily, Daisy, Holly, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Blossom.
As food[change | change source]
People also eat some types of flowers. Flower vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower and artichoke. The most expensive spice, saffron, comes from the crocus flower. Other flower spices are cloves and capers. Hops flowers are used to flavor beer. Dandelion can be made into wine.
Honey is flower nectar that has been collected and processed by bees. Honey is often named for the type of flower that the bees are using (for example, clover honey). Some people put flowers from nasturtiums, chrysanthemums, or carnations in their food. Flowers can also be made into tea. Dried flowers such as chrysanthemum, rose, and jasmine are used to make tea.
Special meanings[change | change source]
Flowers were used to signal meanings in the time when social meetings between men and women was difficult. Lilies made people think of life. Red roses made people think of love, beauty, and passion. In Britain, Australia and Canada, poppies are worn on special holidays as a mark of respect for those who served and died in wars. Daisies made people think of children and innocence.
List of common flowers[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flowers.|
- Water lily
- Morning glory
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
a: sporangia borne at tips of leaf
b: Leaf curls up to protect sporangia
c: leaf curls to form enclosed roll
d: grouping of three rolls into a syncarp
Although I truly love describing the garden, sharing with you what my senses perceive when I am in the garden is not easy because descriptive writing is not my forte. Bringing the smells, the sights and the sounds alive on paper is – in fact – very difficult.
How do you accurately describe the wonderful, translucent way a rose looks and the changes in color that take effect when the sun is shining through the petals in a way that makes it glow?
Below is my attempt at describing my garden. There are also links to products I recommend from companies I have a referral relationship with. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
I can see it with my eyes when I am gardening or even walking through the garden, but I can’t quite capture the effect with a photo – then again, I am not a photographer. These days, even though I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i digital camera, it is my iPhone that I take most pictures with, after all, it is always with me and you can’t get more convienent than that.
Add in the delightful smells that waft through the summer air, the sound of birds and the tinkling of wind chimes and you will begin to understand that my garden is truly a delightful mix of fragrance that is brought alive by the sounds of nature and enhanced with colors that only Mother Nature herself can create.
Fragrance – That’s Where It All Began
From the beginning I knew I wanted a highly fragrant garden. It’s been nine years in the making, but I can say this year has made it all worth it.
This year is a time when I wish there was a scratch and sniff button on my website so you could smell the flowers as I begin describing the garden scents.
The fragrance from the garden gently drifts through the open doors and windows creating an array of heady, floral scents in my house that changes as often as the wind does.
The smell of honeysuckle rules most of the time – it’s heavy, overpowering fragrance conquers all the other scents in the garden – except the old fashion mock orange whose citrus notes compete and at times, overpower or combine so well with the honeysuckle that it’s hard to tell which is which.
Roses abound in my garden, as those of you who look at the photos know. Each one of the roses has a different scent – and this was a deliberate choice.
Some smell like pure old fashion roses, some have citrus notes, some are not scented at all and to confuse the nose even more, the sweet briar rose has apple scented leaves that adds its own dimension of fragrance to the garden.
Combine these fragrances with the dame’s rocket, peonies, sweet shrub plus some of the other scented plants that are flowering at this time (the plants change from day to day) and you truly have the makings of a highly fragrant floral perfume.
I love the sound of windchimes, birds, waterfalls and plants gently rustling in the wind. When these sounds combine, it’s really amazing.
Throughout the garden there are wind chimes of different sizes and shapes. Every one makes a different sound. Some are barely noticeable, others are very loud – but it generally takes a pretty strong wind to get the larger chimes to move.
Sometimes a chipmunk or squirrel set them off, but not very often.
I add new windchimes every year. I tend to choose cheaper ones because they don’t last. I don’t bring them in when summer is over. They are bought for the garden and that is where they remain until the fall apart. I then collect the pieces of the wind chimes and hope someday to put them back together.
This year my garden is filled with the sounds of birds chirping. It wasn’t always like this.
In fact, in the beginning, the bird feeders would sit for days untouched. Sometimes I would have to toss the bird seed because it rained and ruint it. Those days are long gone.
This year there are bird nests – filled with baby birds – all over the property. I have lots of bird houses, but some birds choose to build their nests in trees, shrubs or among the plants. I am glad. All types of birds are welcome here. Nothing says good morning quite like the cheery sound of happy birds.
The other thing that I am noticing for the first time this year is the gentle rustle of the plants – specifically some of the ornamental grasses.
The sounds of the plants rustling are not prominent, but when you walk past an area – or are sitting in an area – where the wind is gently moving the plants, you do notice. The rustling is soothing in a way – not harsh or irritating. In fact, were it not for the occassional vehicle driving by or sound of voices, I could easily forget I was right at the edge of the city.
My other love is the sound of moving water – which may seem strange given the fact that I am afraid of water. I have always been afraid of water since I was a young child, but when my ex-husband tried to drown me in the bathtub, that fear became greater.
There are three ponds currently on the property and there are plans to add a fourth one. The new pond is going to be large enough to raise catfish in – the other three are strictly ornamental.
I have an array of fountains, waterfalls, colored lights and even a fogger in the ponds. I truly find the sound of falling water soothing.
The birds, butterflies and other small animals are also attracted to the sounds of water and every year there are numerous frogs and toads that come here to live. I love seeing tiny frogs and toads in and around the pond areas.
Oh – the lovely sights of the garden – are truly a sight to behold.
There is color everywhere – bright color, subtle color – pinks, reds, yellows, oranges, purples, greens – you name it. I have contrasting colors and harmonizing colors side by side. Red and purple. Green and red. Pink and red. Grey and yellow-green. Orange and purple.
The garden is simply a riot of color – and the colors change on a regular basis as some flowers on certain plants fade and new plants with different colored flowers burst into bloom.
The grouping that spoke to me today was a mix of a ground cover with yellow-green flowers that was planted in between a vibrant red rose and a patch of soft, grey lamb’s ears. The three colors together looked really good.
The lamb’s ears beckoned to me to gently caress them. Their leaves are so soft – they remind me of petting a small kitten.
The red rose towered above the yellow-green flowers of the groundcover really brought the other two plants together and made the red of the roses stand out even more. There are numerous groupings like this all along the garden path.
Some just seem to stand out more than others on different days possibly because of how the sunlight plays off the petals and leaves of the plants at different times of the day.
So, I hope you have enjoyed my attempt at describing the garden. It has not been an easy task.
The good news is there are lots of videos on my YouTube Channel of the garden if you wish to see parts of the garden for yourself.
I highly recommend the following articles:
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Filed Under: Flower GardeningTagged With: descriptive narrative of my garden, my garden ramblings