Male & Female Reproductive Parts of a Flower

Flower parts vary tremendously in number, shape, size and arrangement among varieties. But all flowers have one purpose: to reproduce the plant. Flowers usually have both male and female reproductive parts that are roughly similar to human sexual organs.

Alhough flowers differ from each otheer in looks, they all have one purpose.

Male Reproductive Parts

The male flower organ is called the stamen. The stamen has two parts: an anther and filament. Anthers are sacs that hold pollen, the male reproductive cells. Filaments are long, thin stalks that sit in a flower's middle. Each filament holds a pair of anthers up into the air, making the pollen available to pollinators such as wind, bees and birds. The yellow, gold or brownish powder on anthers is pollen. Flowers usually have several stamens.

Female Reproductive Parts

A flower's stamen and pistil.

The female flower organ is called the pistil. The pistil usually is located in a flower's center and has three parts: the style, stigma and ovary. The style is a tube-like structure with a sticky surface at its top, known as the stigma, to which pollen sticks. It usually extends further out of the flower than do the filaments. The style leads down to the ovary, which contains ovules, or egg cells. If pollen reaches an ovule and fertilizes it, the ovule develops into a seed.

Female and Male Flowers

Female or pistillate flowers are those with a working pistil, but no stamen. If a flower has a working stamen, but no pistil, it is called male or staminate.