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Moon graphic - upper rightAdventures of the Agronauts
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Mission 1
Mission 2
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Some plants have flowers. Flowers are not only pretty to look at, but this is where seeds come from. Flowers can be made up of different parts, but there are some parts that all flowers have. Sepals are the green petal-like parts at the bottom of the flower. Sepals help protect the flower buds. The main flower parts are the male part called the stamen and the female part called the pistil. The stamen is made of anthers and filaments. The anthers carry the pollen and are generally yellow in color. Anthers are held up by the filaments, a thread-like part.

Flower labeled with anther, filament, receptacle, ovule, sepal, ovary, style, stigma, and petal.

The pistil is made of a stigma, a style, and an ovary. The stigma is the sticky surface at the top of the pistil that traps and holds the pollen. The style is tube-like and holds up the stigma. The style leads down to the ovary that holds the ovules. When pollination happens, pollen moves from the male parts to the female parts. Pollen grains land on the stigma. Then, a tiny tube grows from it down the style into the ovary. The ovule then becomes the seed and the ovary becomes the fruit.

Pollen moves from the male to female plant parts with the help of insects, the wind, and animals. Since flowers can't move, they need to get pollinators to come to them some other way. That is one reason why flowers are bright colors and smell good--to attract insects and animals. Flowers may be built so that wind is able to pollinate them or so that pollen can stick to the hair of animals as they pass by the flowers. Bees, butterflies, insects, and birds like the bright petals and sweet nectar of flowers. Some flowers open at special times for pollinators, such as plants that open at night and are pollinated by bats.

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