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Monday, January 23, 2006

How Plants and Flowers Grow

Picture showing anatomy of a flower

Plants can be divided into two types: flowering plants and non-flowering plants. The are many flowering plants such as the rose, daisy, tulip and others. Non-flowering plants include coniferous trees such as the pine and spruce.

Both types of plants follow a similar process of growth. Plants have both male pollen and female parts of the flower. Pollen from a plant is carried by the wind, or by insects, to fertilize the female parts of the plant. Once fertilized, a cone or seed is produced that is capable of creating a new plant.


  • A fruit is a ripened ovary - it contains the seeds
  • Often the fruit is edible
  • There is a wide variety of fruit types - but all fruits are basically formed from a ripened ovary
  • A seed is a ripened or mature ovule
  • Often the seed is edible - this serves the same function as do edible fruits
  • There is a wide variety of seed types
  • A vegetable is an edible part of a plant that is not part of the reproductive organs (edible roots, stems, leaves, etc.)

Wind Pollination

Many plants, such as grass, weeds and even large pine trees, rely on the wind for pollination. The pollen is small and light, allowing it to be blown by the wind. The pollen lands on other plants a fertilizes them.

Insect Pollination

Worker bees collect pollen and nector from flowers in order to create the wax they need to build their hive. The queen bee creates the wax in her abdomen, which she uses to build chambers or cells where she lays her eggs.

In the process of building their hive, bees play a very important role pollenating flowers and plants. As a bee gathers nectar from a flower, tiny grains of pollen will stick to its hairy legs and body. When the bee flies to another flower for nector, the pollen on its legs and body brushes off to help furtilize the flower.


Since most plants cannot travel from place to place, they rely on animals and the wind to scatter their seeds.

Seeds come in a wide variety of sizes, from small flower seeds to large acorn seeds and pine cones.


Many plants and flowers reproduce from bulbs. The parent plant produces buds or bulbs that split off and start to grow a new plant.


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