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Flowers: Male and Female

Did you know that flowers can be both male AND female? And have those parts at the same time??

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The anthers make something called pollen. The ovary contains the egg, sometimes called an ovule. For a new plant to be created, the pollen and ovule have to get together.

Since most plants don’t move on their own, its hard for the plants to get the pollen and the ovule together at the right time. To help with this, many plants produce nectar to attract animals to their flowers. This is where insects and birds come in. While they are gathering nectar to eat, they get pollen on their bodies. They then carry the pollen from plant to plant as they are searching for more nectar. This is how many plants are pollinated.

Take a closer look at a flower.

Project Supplies:

flowers such as carnations, roses, tulips, etc.
a sharp cutting instrument (may require adult supervision or help)
a pencil
a piece of light colored construction paper

Project Directions:

1. Cut your flower in half and mount it on the light colored construction paper. You want it in half so that you are able to see the inside of the flower and the parts that are there.

2. Label you flower parts:

§ Petal
§ Ovary (female part)
§ Anther (male part)

3. Can you find any pollen on your flower?

4. Go to for a much more detailed explanation of flower reproduction as well as a good diagram of flower parts.


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