You will agree with us on the special beauty that flowers have. Their ephemeral nature, the large number of shapes and colors they have and of course, their various scents. Flowers have always been taken as an important romantic symbol, but the truth is that their significance goes much further.
What are flowers and their characteristics
First of all, what is a flower? Flowers are the reproductive structures of some plants . Why do we say “some”? Well, because not all plants have flowers, although they all reproduce and form seeds. Plants that have flowers as a reproductive structure are commonly known as Angiosperms.
The appearance of the flowers themselves, very variable as for example you can see in this other article about The most exotic flowers in the world , aims to provide a greater attraction to the plant than it would be without the flowers. Said like this it may seem something merely aesthetic, but precisely for this reason, it is precisely why they get more insects to approach them and help in their reproduction, that is, their shape, color and smell are designed to attract different types of insects. that serve to propagate their pollen or their seeds. If you want to know more, keep reading, later we will tell you why.
The flowers have different parts that depend on the sex of the flower. Depending on whether a flower is male, female or hermaphroditic, it will present some structures or others. In a generic way, the parts that we can find in a flower are the following:
- Sepals: they are the leaves that are responsible for covering and protecting the flower in its earliest stages. Once the flower blooms, they are at the bottom.
- Petals: of very varied colors and shapes, these have the function of attracting insects and pollinators, such as bees . Sometimes the flowers lack petals and are called flowers apetalas.
- Pistil or gynoecium: it forms the female part of the flower. Inside are the ovules that once fertilized can give rise to the seeds. The pistil has a characteristic bottle shape divided into three parts: the stigma, the uppermost part through which the pollen enters, the style, which would be the “neck of the bottle” and the ovary, the most basal and widened part. where the ovules are found.
- Stamens: are the male part of the flower. The stamen is the filament that supports the anther, the organ that produces and contains the pollen grains, the male sexual gametes of the flower.
The main function of flowers is reproduction, being the reproductive structures of the plants that produce them. The objective is the production of seeds that can later be dispersed and give rise to new individuals.
The reproduction of flowers is of the sexual type, and there is a great variety of structures. There are plants that in the same individual have only male flowers or female flowers (dioecious), individuals that can have both male flowers and female flowers (monoecious) or plants that have flowers that are hermaphrodites, that is, they are found in the same flower. both sexual organs.
Roughly, when a living being, such as insects or some birds, approaches flowers attracted by their shape, color or general appearance, they become impregnated with pollen (in the case of being a male flower) from their anthers and they disperse it, thus facilitating the reproduction of these plants, being able to reach other female flowers. Being animals that frequent various flowers, the probability of fertilization of female flowers is greatly increased.
Flowers have a very notorious importance and that goes far beyond the reproductive function for plants, something that in itself already has great importance since it allows the whole variety of plant species to continue to perpetuate itself over time, spreading and providing services. that we take advantage of on numerous occasions, such as food. With all this, we have already discussed the first of the reasons why flowers are important in nature ; reproductive aid.
The next thing to comment on why flowers are important is that they serve as food for many species and in many different ways. Species such as insects (bees, butterflies …), some birds such as hummingbirds and some species of bats feed through the nectar and pollen they contain . It also serves as food for other herbivorous animal species such as deer or rabbits.
In addition to feeding these living beings that we have discussed, they also serve us as a source of food. It is increasingly fashionable to cook with edible flower petals or to make herbal teas.
Another important feature to highlight is the medicinal use of flowers . They are important in nature because they not only serve as remedies for us through their manipulation to obtain more or less sophisticated medicines, but they also have their importance for animals, since many of them know how to distinguish some flowers from others according to the effect that they produce in their organism and consume them according to what they need.
Flowers provide a much more colorful view of the world and its landscapes, but their properties, uses and functions are very important to the life we know today.