Friday, March 18, 2011

Petasites flower revisited

I recently posted pictures of the Petasites japonicus in flower. Well, this is the same guy about 10 days later. The shot is a little washed out because I took it after a long sunny day but still you can see the fully developed flower in all it's whacky botanical glory.
Like the old shots you can see the many clusters of stamens, the male reproductive organs of the flower, complete with their anthers full of pollen. But now you can also see what I am guessing to be the top of the pistil, the female reproductive part of the flower. See the white hole in the center? I would bet that if we dissected this flower we would see that the opening there is what botanists call the stigma, the uppermost portion of the pistil. Basically what happens is pollen enters at the stigma and travels down the style to the flower's ovary, where pollination leads to reproduction and creation of seed.
A flower that has both male and female reproductive organs is considered a perfect flower in botany terms. Pretty amazing sexual creatures if you ask me. ooh wee!

Here's your botany refresher for the day. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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