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A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to facilitate reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing (fusion of sperm and eggs from different individuals in a population) resulting from cross pollination or allow selfing (fusion of sperm and egg from the same flower) when self pollination occurs.

Pollination have two types which is self-pollination and cross-pollination. Self-pollination happens when the pollen from the anther is deposited on the stigma of the same flower, or another flower on the same plant. Cross-pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower on a different individual of the same species. Self-pollination happened in flowers where the stamen and carpel mature at the same time, and are positioned so that the pollen can land on the flower’s stigma. This pollination does not require an investment from the plant to provide nectar and pollen as food for pollinators.

Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds.

In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to bring beauty to their environment, and also as objects of romance, ritual, religion, medicine and as a source of food.

Flower Media

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Model with a basket of flowers: Sarasota, Florida

Model with a basket of flowers: Sarasota, Florida

Local call number: JJS0093 ..Title: Model with a basket of flowers: Sarasota, Florida..Date: ca. 1945..Physical descrip: 1 transparency - col. - 5 x 4 in. ..Series Title: Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection ( ht... More

Flowers where the freedomfighter, police officer Kaj Hedal was shot. Nytorv at Strøget (the pedestrian street) in Copenhagen. Photo: Jørgen Nielsen for Jay

Flowers where the freedomfighter, police officer Kaj Hedal was shot. N...

More images from The Museum of Danish Resistance: <a href="http://erez.natmus.dk/FHMbilleder/Site/index.jsp" rel="nofollow">erez.natmus.dk/FHMbilleder/Site/index.jsp</a>

Unidentified woman holding gladiolus at Terra Ceia Island Farms, Florida

Unidentified woman holding gladiolus at Terra Ceia Island Farms, Flori...

Persistent URL: www.floridamemory.com/items/show/245323 ( http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/245323 ) ..Local call number: JJS0361A..Title: Unidentified woman holding gladiolus at Terra Ceia Island Farms, ... More

Pinhead
Bowl
Pinhead
Tile with water flowers in a canal

Tile with water flowers in a canal

From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Qantir (Piramesse), Palace of Ramesses II, Private apartments New Kingdom, Ramesside

Fragment of a Floral Inlay
Rosette
Rosette
Rosette
Rosette
Piece
Double "Tell el-Yahudiya" Vase with Incised Lotus Flowers, probably manufactured in Egypt

Double "Tell el-Yahudiya" Vase with Incised Lotus Flowers, probably ma...

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb of Iuy (MMA 61), On surface near tomb, MMA excavations, 1922–23 Second Intermediate Period–Early New Kingdom

Rosette
Rosette
Seal
Scarab Inscribed Lord of the Two Lands, Maatkare (Hatshepsut) Flanked by Lotus Flowers

Scarab Inscribed Lord of the Two Lands, Maatkare (Hatshepsut) Flanked ...

From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Hatshepsut, Foundation Deposit 9 (I), MMA excavations, 1926–27 New Kingdom

Fragment of a Floral Inlay
Jar
Seal
Reliquary
Weefselfragment met clavus (?)

Weefselfragment met clavus (?)

Naturelkleurig linnen weefselfragment met een decoratieve strook binnen lijnen van zes dikkere inslagen. De decoratieve strook vertoont centraal een opeenvolging van bloemen in donkerblauw, rood en geel aan wee... More

Earring
Weefselfragment met tabula

Weefselfragment met tabula

Naturelkleurig linnen weefselfragment met ingeweven tabula met vijf cirkels in bordeauxrood. In de centrale cirkel een centaur, in de cirkels linksboven en rechtsonder een geknielde figuur met schild en krans, ... More