You can clearly see the green sepals on these blueberry flowers which have flowered.
This image shows a primrose willow herb after it has flowered. You can clearly see the sepals and petals. Notice how the sepals are underneath the petals.
With some flowers it can be more difficult to identify sepals and petals.This white tulip has three sepals and three petals.
The petals of this Angel’s Trumpet are all joined together (‘fused’) to form one petal.
Why have flowers developed brightly colored, sweet smelling and unusually shaped leaves?
Flowers want to encourage certain ‘visitors’ to land on their petals. So the petals are often (but not always) a sort of ‘airfield’ designed to attract certain ‘visitors’ to land on.
Flowers want to attract all sorts of visitors including bees. This bee has landed on the petals of an aster flower looking for nectar.
Other visitors looking for food include ‘painted lady’ butterflies…
purple throated humming birds….
and lesser long nosed bats.
You can clearly see the food that visitors to this camelia flower are looking for among the ‘stamens’.This camelia flower is offering a meal of ‘nectar’ which is a type of sugar.
Not all nectar is as easy to find as the nectar on this camelia flower. Sometimes nectar can be difficult to reach.
Some insects have developed special ‘tongues’ to help them feed on nectar which can be difficult to reach. An insect ‘tongue’ is called a ‘proboscis’ and an insect ‘proboscis’ can be far longer than any human tongue.
A proboscis works much like a straw. The insect uses it proboscis to suck up nectar into its ‘mouth’.
Look how long the proboscis is of this fly!
The giant hawk moth has an even longer proboscis! Its proboscis reaches the nectar of flowers that other insects cannot reach! Amazing!
This is a picture of some ‘stamens’ in the middle of an amaryllis flower. A stamen is made up of an ‘anther’ and a ‘filament’.An ‘anther’ makes a sticky powder called ‘pollen’. The ‘filament’ is the stalk that supports the ‘anther’.
When insects land near ‘stamens’ looking for a meal of nectar their bodies brush up against the ‘anthers’. This results in grains of pollen sticking to the bodies of insects.
Look at pollen sticking to this marmalade hoverfly as it sucks nectar from a rock rose. A small meal of nectar from a rock rose results in pollen sticking to its body.
After the hoverfly has feasted on the nectar of one rock rose it will visit other rock roses in search of more nectar.
As the hoverfly lands on the petals of a second rock rose it will search for nectar among the stamen of the second rock rose.
Some of the pollen sticking to its body from the visit to the first rock rose will drop off and fall onto the ‘stigma’ of the second rock rose. The ‘stigma’ is a hollow tube which can be found among the stamen of most flowers. If only one tiny grain of pollen falls onto the stigma that will be enough for the rock rose to produce a seed.
You can see the stigma of a lily flower below. The stalk supporting the ‘stigma’ is called the ‘style’
Once a grain of pollen has been caught by the stigma the process of making seeds begins. How does a plant make seeds once the stigma has captured a grain of pollen? That’s another story!
*Answers to reproductive parts of Christmas lily: (in order) stigma, style, anther, filament,petal