How Does a Seed Become a Flower?
Flowering plants, which represent a large portion of the plant kingdom, follow a regular and predictable pattern of growth from seed to flowery maturity unless something abnormal happens to their environment such as an untimely freeze, a drought or extreme heat wave. A flowering plant may sprout, flower, produce seeds and die in a single year or may grow, flower and produce seeds for a number of years before dying.
The first stage of a flowering plant’s life is germination, where an embryonic plant emerges from the seed. Seeds germinate in response to the correct amount of daylight, soil temperature, rainfall and other cues such as a spell of cold weather before warm weather. The correct conditions trigger growth in the plant embryo contained in the seed. The embryo uses nutrients stored in the seed for its initial growth. The embryo breaks through the seed coat, and sends roots downward into the dirt and a green shoot upward to the soil surface.
After germination, a flowering plant’s roots collect water and soil nutrients while its green leaves convert the energy of sunlight into sugars. The water, nutrients and sugars fuel a rapid vegetative growth stage where the plant goes from being a tiny sprout to a mature member of its species. The length of the growth stage varies with the species. Annuals, which live for only one year, have a single vegetative growth stage. But flowering plants that live for multiple years have a growth stage that adds stems, leaves and roots each year they live.
When a flowering plant reaches the right stage of maturity, it forms buds on its stems that will expand into flowers. The timing of the flowering stage varies with the species and the environmental conditions. Flowers are the sexual reproductive organs of the plant. Some flowering plants have male and female parts in the same flower. Others have separate male and female flowers on the same plant, while still others have separate male and female plants. The female flower part, called the pistil, contains the ovary that will nurture the seeds of the next generation. The male flower parts, called stamens, contain the organs that produce the pollen that will fertilize the ovary.
Pollen is carried from the stamens to the pistil by wind or by a pollinator such as a honeybee or moth. When a pollen grain lands on the tip of the pistil, it releases sperm that travel down inside the pistil to fertilize the ovary at the base of the pistil. Once pollination and fertilization have occurred, seeds start to grow in the ovary. Meanwhile, the flower withers away as the ovary swells and the seeds within it ripen until they are ready to release. With annuals, the plant dies after the ripe seeds are released. With perennials, once the ripe seeds are released the plant stores food in its roots for use next year, and then goes into dormancy until environmental conditions trigger a new round of growth, flowering and seeding.
- Countryside Info: Plant Life Cycle
- City University of New York: Division Anthophyta (Angiosperms)
Herb Kirchhoff has more than three decades of hands-on experience as an avid garden hobbyist and home handyman. Since retiring from the news business in 2008, Kirchhoff takes care of a 12-acre rural Michigan lakefront property and applies his experience to his vegetable and flower gardens and home repair and renovation projects.
How Does a Seed Become a Flower?. Flowering plants, which represent a large portion of the plant kingdom, follow a regular and predictable pattern of growth from seed to flowery maturity unless something abnormal happens to their environment such as an untimely freeze, a drought or extreme heat wave. A flowering plant …
How does a flower produce seeds
Flowering plants are a type of vascular plant that produces flowers in order to reproduce. Flowering plants produce seeds within a fruit. The scientific name for flowering plants is angiosperms.
Life-cycle of a Flowering Plant
Flowering plants follow a specific life cycle.
- Seed – They begin their lives as seeds. Seeds are like baby plants. They have a hard outer shell that protects the seed embryo inside.
- Germination – The seed ends up on the ground. It needs air, water, and soil to grow. When a seed begins to grow, this is called germination. The first growth will usually be some small roots. Then stems will grow.
- Sprout or seedling – When the first sign of life appears above the soil, this is called a sprout or seedling.
- Mature plant – The seedling will continue to grow into a full mature plant with leaves, roots, and stems.
- Flowering – The mature plant will grow flowers. Through pollination, the flowers will produce seeds. When the seeds end up on the ground, the cycle will begin again.
Flowers are the reproductive organs of the flowering plant.
The main structures of a flower include:
- Sepal – The sepal is a support structure for the petal. It is typically green and helps to protect and hold up the petal. All the sepals together are called the calyx.
- Petal – The petals are the bright colorful leaves of the flower. The petals are often bright and colorful in order to attract insects that help with pollination. All of the petals together are called the corolla.
- Stamen – The stamen is the part of the flower that produces pollen. There are two main parts of the stamen: the filament and anther.
- Filament – The filament is the stalk that holds the anther.
- Anther – The anther is made up of lobes that attach to the filament. These lobes hold sacs which contain pollen.
- Pistil – The pistil is the female part of the flower. It contains the carpel and the stigma.
- Stigma – The stigma is the area where pollen is received. The stigma may be located at the end of a stalk called the style.
- Carpel – The carpel is the ovary of the flower and contains ovules which are potential seeds.
Fruits are a way which many plants spread their seeds. Fruits are formed after the flower is fertilized with pollen. The ovules in the pistil will become seeds and the flower will transform into a fruit.
The seed is the embryo of a plant. Sort of like a baby plant. Seeds come in all sizes shapes and colors depending on the type of plant. Inside the seed is a plant embryo, food for the embryo, and a seed coat to protect it.
Seeds may be dispersed by a number of ways including air, water, and animals. Some seeds are light and have hairs or wings that help them to float in the air. Other seeds can float on the water and disperse by riding on rivers and streams. Still other seeds have tasty fruit that animals eat and then get dispersed in the animals’ droppings.
In order for an ovary to become a seed, it must receive pollen. Insects and birds can play an important role in pollinating plants. When an insect or bird is attracted to a flower by its bright color, they get pollen on them. As they move from plant to plant, they move the pollen from one plant to another. This helps the plants to reproduce by creating seeds.
Kids learn about flowering plants in the science of biology including their life-cycle, structures of a flower, fruit, seeds, and pollination.