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Life Cycle of the Flower

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Flowers, also called blooms or blossoms, is the reproductive organs of the plant. The basic function of a flower is to precipitate the blending of the male sperm with female ovum to produce seeds and propagate the species. The basic process starts with pollination, which in turn causes fertilization, and this leads to the formation of the seeds. There are various ways that a plant causes dispersal of it's seeds. It can spread it's seeds by wind or like the blackberry plant and spread it's seeds by use of birds and animals.

Seeds are the next generation, or offspring, and are the primary means by which a species ensures it's continuation. The production of many tiny flowers on a single plant is called inflorescence. Besides being the reproductive organs of flowering plants, flowers have been used by humans all across the world to beautify their surroundings and as a source of food.

Every flower has a specific design which helps the transfer of it's pollen in the most efficient way possible. Some types of flowers are self pollinated, such as various types of sativas, while others require pollination by insects. Plants, such as many types of mints or clover, attract and use bees, bats, birds, etc. to transfer pollen from one flower to another.

Most flowers have glands called nectaries on various parts that attract insects such as bees. Some flowers have patterns referred to as nectar guides, that help insects like butterflies where to look for the sweet nectar. Flowers can also draw pollinators to them by using scent and color. And some flowers use a clever mimicry to draw pollinators to them. Many types of orchids produce flowers that look like a female bee in their coloration, scent, and their shape to draw the male bees to them.

A huge array of flower species are also specialized in their particular shape to have an arrangement of the stamens to make sure that the pollen grains are transferred to the bodies of the insect when it lands looking for what attracted it in the first place. By the insect's constant pursuit of the pollen, nectar, etc. from many different flowers of the same species, the insect transfers pollen to the various stigmas of each flower with that single minded precision to all of the flowers it lands on.

There are many flowers that spread pollen from one flower to the next by the use of wind. Many of the examples that use this method include Birch trees, Ragweed, Dandelions, Milkweed, etc. These plants have no real need to attract insects or other creatures to pollinate them and therefore tend to not have bright and showy flowers.

The male and female flowers are on the same plant with the male flowers having several long filaments ending in the stamens, and the female flowers having the long feathery stigmas. The pollen of entomophilous flowers, (flowers that need pollinators), have the tendency to be large-grained, rather sticky, and rich in necessary proteins, the anemophilous flower, (flowers that need no pollinators), pollen has tiny grains, is very light, non-sticky, and has little or no nutritional value to insects or other creatures.

Flowers are a beautiful and necessary part of our world. They can calm our minds and sooth our souls in an increasingly hectic age. Plant a garden and enjoy the natural beauty of flowers!
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