The Beauty of Flower Reproduction

By Selina Haefeli

This is how a plant has a ‘baby’.

This alien looking structure is the reproductive organ of a flower. The stamen has been zoomed in 125 times using a powerful technique called confocal microscopy. The stalk is located right in the centre of a flower’s petals and it produces pollen, which are the yellow dotted spheres in the image above.

The pollen is eventually released by getting attached to birds and insects or simply by blowing away in the wind. Once pollen grains arrive on the reproductive organ of a compatible flower they develop into ovules. Then the flower withers and the reproductive organ turns into a fruit with seeds inside.

The process is finally completed when the seeds are released from the fruit—by getting eaten and defecated by animals or when the fruit rots. Then the seeds grow into a brand new baby plant.

Source: [Nikon Small World]