March 29, 2005
Pistils, Stamens and Sepals
If I weren't homeschooling, I don't think I would ever have thought to look for the stamens in an iris bloom. I've been enjoying irises for decades, and never felt I was missing anything. But today I discovered where they hide their stamens; and it was cool. They open up like snapdragons. Did you know that?
For those of you who never knew or have forgotten, flowers have a lot of intriguing parts beyond the stem and petals and leaves. The sepals are the part you see before the bud opens up, which protect the flower until it's ready to bloom. They are usually green, but not always. The stamens are the male parts of the flower, several little filaments that come out of the center of the flower, and carry pollen at their ends, on pads called anthers. The pistil is the female part, also coming out of the center, with a sticky part at the tip, called the stigma.
On these fuchsia blooms, the sepals are pink instead of the more usual green, the petals are purple, and there are about eight stamens, with one longer pistil, all hot pink. A perfect specimen for demonstrating the basic parts of a flower to my second grader. Lilies are great too.
March 29, 2005 | Permalink
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Cool! Michaela had asked me to read to her about flowers from her nature book recently and we happened to uproot a tulip during weeding. So yesterday the girls and I dissected and drew the parts of the flower. We also put the stamen and inside of the pistil under the microscope to look at the pollen and eggs. I like your fuchsia example. We will have to go out in the garden and look at other flowers (not a big selection here right now..) Pink sepals are wow! Tulips don't have sepals, at least the one we examined didn't. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Julie | Mar 30, 2005 8:02:34 AM