We eat more flowers than you think. Nasturtium flowers are a deliciously peppery addition to a salad and zucchini flowers are amazing stuffed with rice and spices. We a lot of flowers while they are still in bud form, so we may not even realise it is the flower. Brussels sprouts, capers and cloves are actually the flower buds but we harvest them before they open. Even though it’s in the name ‘cauliflower’ its hard to believe it’s a head of flower buds that we eat!
All about flowers
Plants mostly produce flowers to encourage bees and insects to pollinate them in order to make seed. The petals often have bright colours and perfume to attract these pollinators. Flowers produce sweet nectar, which is what the insects come to feed on. The plants need to be pollinated in order to make seeds so that new plants can grow on in the future. Some flowers contain both male and female parts while other flowers are either male or female. Flowers come in an incredible range of shapes and sizes. The male part of the flower is called the stamen, and it is the anther at the end of the stamen, which produces the pollen. The female part of the flower is called the carpel. At the base of this is the ovary where the ovules are produced. The style and the stigma help receive and then transport the pollen, which then fertilizes the ovule and the seed develops.
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