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Flower Investigation
The Function of the Flower: The primary function of the flower is reproduction. There are three primary steps to plant reproduction: pollination, fertilization, and the formation of seeds. Pollination occurs when the pollen from one flower is transported to another flower. Pollen is the grainy powder created in the flowers anthers found at the ends of the stamens of flowers. Pollen contains gametophytes, which produce the sperm cells, or male gametes of seed plants. Pollinators, typically bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, or the wind, carry pollen from the male stamen to the female pistil part of the flower during pollination. When pollen is transported from the stamen to the pistil of the same flower it is called self-pollination. If the pollen is transported from the stamen to the pistil of a different flower it is called cross-pollination. Once the pollen has reached the pistil, it attaches itself to the stigma of the pistil and a pollen tube grows down through the style and enters the ovary and eventually penetrates the ovule of the flower. Inside the ovule, lies the embryo sac. Once inside the embryo sac, one of the two male gametes contained in the pollen tube fuses with an egg nucleus inside the ovary. Once the male gametes (sperm) fertilize the female gametes (eggs) new seeds are produced. Vocabulary: Pollination: transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma of a plant. Fertilization: The action or process of fertilizing an egg, female animal, or plant, involving the fusion of male and female gametes to form a zygote. Pollen: Fine dust-like grains discharged from the male part of a plant with a tough outer layer surrounding the fertile gamete (sperm cell) Anther: The part of a stamen that contains the pollen. Filament: The stalk that bears the anther in a stamen. Ovary: the female part of the flower that holds the ovules Petals: One of the often brightly colored parts of a flower immediately surrounding the reproductive organs Pistil: The female organs of a flower, comprising the stigma, style, and ovary. Sepals: Found at the base of the flower, they are typically green leaf-like structures that enclose the flowers petals. Stamen: The male fertilizing organ of a flower, typically consisting of a pollen-containing anther and a filament. Stigma: The sticky tip of a flower pistil, on which pollen is deposited at the beginning of pollination Style: the stalk of the pistil that supports the stigma

Procedure Petals and Sepals 1. Carefully examine the outer parts of your flower. Make a detailed SCIENTIFIC drawing of your observation in the space below clearly labeling the petals and sepals. _________________________________

Magnification:_________________ What purpose do you think the sepals serve?

What do you notice about the petals? Specifically, what do you notice about the colors, markings, and shape? Did any of your flowers have lines or dots on the petals? What purpose do you think that those features might serve?

Stamen and Pistil 2. Carefully pull away the sepals and petals to reveal the inside of the flower. Make a detailed scientific drawing of the stamens and pistil. Label the following structures in your drawing: stamen, anther, filament, pollen, pistil, stigma, style, and ovary.

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Magnification:_________________ How many stamens are present in your flower? __________ Do flowers have more male or female parts? Why do you think that might be?

Which is taller in your plant: the stamen or the stigma? Why might that be? How do you think the stigma is adapted to trap the pollen grains and to provide a place for them to grow?

3. Using the scalpel, make an incision vertically down the ovary and open it so that you can see the inside and the ovule. Make a detailed scientific drawing of what you see below. Be sure to label the ovary and the ovules, there may be more than one ovule. Each ovule contains an egg.

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Magnification:_________________

Discussion Questions: Why do you think that there might be differences between the size, shape, and number of reproductive organs between different plants?

Making Claims About the Structures of Flowers and Their Roles in Reproduction: Describe how the outside and inside structures of flowers contribute to the successful reproduction of plants. Use evidence from what you know about pollination and fertilization along with observations you made while dissecting the flower. The outside organs of flowers contribute to reproduction in the following ways: Contribution Evidence

The inside organs of flowers contribute to reproduction in the following ways: Contribution Evidence

Application: Begonias are another type of flower specifically they are imperfect flowers (flowers that dont have both male and female parts). What would happen if there was a decrease in the bee population where many begonias grow? Explain.

What would you expect to happen to the begonia population if someone spray-painted their brightly colored petals black? Explain.