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Bees and butterflies are attracted by both scent and color.

Bag Bag Flight BagBase Retro Retro Red Classic Classic BagBase Flight Bag Red Classic Bag Retro Retro Classic Flight BagBase BagBase Flight Flowers brighten the landscape and provide nectar and pollen for hungry bees and butterflies. However, that’s not their primary purpose. Flowers are nature’s way of ensuring that the plant will reproduce via seeds and carry on its genetic makeup. Many flowers contain both male and female parts, called the stamen and the pistil. Some flowers, however, contain only male or female parts and need the help of another flower to form seeds.


The male part of a flower, called the stamen, consists of two parts: the filament and the anther. The filament looks like a slender piece of thread or fishing line. The anther rests on top of the filament and contains the pollen. The anther is usually yellow. Flowers generally have the same number of stamens as petals.


The female part of a flower, called the pistil, consists of three parts: the stigma, the style and the ovary. The stigma is the sticky portion of the pistil that collects pollen from visiting bees and butterflies. The style connects the stigma to the ovary. The ovary holds the ovules that grow into seeds when pollen is collected and transported to the ovary.

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Retro Flight Bag Retro Bag Classic Red Flight BagBase Classic BagBase Perfect flowers contain both male and female parts. These flowers do not need another flower to pollinate the plant. Pollen produced by the anther sticks to the stigma, from the action of the wind or when bees and butterflies visit the flower.

Imperfect Flowers

Imperfect flowers contain only male or only female parts. These flowers cannot produce seeds without the help of another flower. Some plants, such as members of the cucurbit family, like cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) and summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), produce both male and female blooms on the same plant. These plants are called monoecious. Others like the pistachio (Pistacia vera) and kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) contain male and female reproductive parts on separate plants and are called dioecious.

Other Flower Parts

Flight Bag Bag BagBase Flight BagBase Classic Retro Red Classic Retro Flowers also contain sepals and petals. A sepal looks like a tiny green leaf at the base of the flower. The sepal covers and protects the bud of the flower before it blooms. The petals range in size, shape and color and serve to attract pollinators, such a bees, butterflies and birds to the flower. Many flowers also contain nectaries at the base of the petals filled with nectar to attract flying insects and birds.

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About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

Photo Credits

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