Saturday, 25 November 2006



This picture was taken at the outside of the Trinity College Wynne Cottage. The interesting shape from the developing rose give it a pointed and curve blades looking like a chinese yam cha food or some monstrous drill bit. The image has been processed as to show only the gradual changes of the general colours and adding a mixture of contrast in the shadows.

A flower is regarded as a modified stem with shortened internodes and bearing, at its nodes, structures that may be highly modified leaves. In essence, a flower structure forms on a modified shoot or axis with an apical meristem that does not grow continuously (growth is determinate). The stem is called a pedicel, the end of which is the torus or receptacle. The parts of a flower are arranged in whorls on the torus. The four main parts or whorls (starting from the base of the flower or lowest node and working upwards) are as follows:

  • Calyx – the outer whorl of sepals; typically these are green, but are petal-like in some species.
  • Corolla – the whorl of petals, which are usually thin, soft and colored to attract insects that help the process of pollination.
  • Androecium (from Greek andros oikia: man's house) – one or two whorls of stamens, each a filament topped by an anther where pollen is produced. Pollen contains the male gametes.
  • Gynoecium (from Greek gynaikos oikia: woman's house) – one or more pistils. The female reproductive organ is the carpel: this contains an ovary with ovules (which contain female gametes). A pistil may consist of a number of carpels merged together, in which case there is only one pistil to each flower, or of a single individual carpel (the flower is then called apocarpous). The sticky tip of the pistil, the stigma, is the receptor of pollen. The supportive stalk, the style becomes the pathway for pollen tubes to grow from pollen grains adhering to the stigma, to the ovules, carrying the reproductive material.

Although the floral structure described above is considered the "typical" structural plan, plant species show a wide variety of modifications from this plan. These modifications have significance in the evolution of flowering plants and are used extensively by botanists to establish relationships among plant species. For example, the two subclasses of flowering plants may be distinguished by the number of floral organs in each whorl: dicotyledons typically having 4 or 5 organs (or a multiple of 4 or 5) in each whorl and monocotyledons having three or some multiple of three. The number of carpels in a compound pistil may be only two, or otherwise not related to the above generalization for monocots and dicots.


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