What Is the First Step in the Reproduction of a Flowering Plant?

Written by elizabeth layne
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What Is the First Step in the Reproduction of a Flowering Plant?
This lily shows its pistil and stigma -- female and male reproductive organs. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Flowers have one purpose -- to reproduce the plant. As a plant's reproduction structure, flowers contain parts that are roughly similar to human sex organs. Flowers need the help of animals, including butterflies and bees, to reproduce.

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Most plants need to spread pollen to other flowers to make seeds. A bee, for example, visits flowers to collect nectar. As it seeks nectar in a flower, the flower's pollen sticks to the bee's body. When the bee travels from flower to flower collecting nectar, it carries pollen with them. This pollen is transferred from one flower to another, bringing about pollination, the first step in reproduction.

What Is the First Step in the Reproduction of a Flowering Plant?
Pollen collects on this bee's body. (evening primrose with fly image by Richard Seeney from Fotolia.com)


Pollen is distributed by pollinators to the flower's female reproductive organ, called the pistil. A part of the pistil is a tubelike structure, called the style, which leads down to the ovary. The ovary contains the plant's ovules, or egg cells. When pollen travels down the style and merges with an ovule, the plant is fertilised and a seed is formed.


A plant's life cycle begins as a seed produced by a flower. Seeds hold a tiny plant or embryo and enough nutrients to fuel the embryo's growth. The small plant begins to grow when it has enough water, nutrients and warmth. When it matures, the plant produces flowers that, in turn, make more seeds.

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