So, when we are talking about the male parts of a flower we are referring to the stamens. These have anthers on top of them from which the pollen or plant sperm is shed to fertilize the female. The female part of the flower is the pistil which is a tube with a stigma or sticky surface at its tip that is receptive to the pollen. It is the place on which the pollen lands. At the base of the pistil are the ovaries. This is where the actual fertilization takes place after the pollen grows down the tube (the style). The sex cells in the ovaries combine with the sex cells from the pollen to form the eggs that develop into seeds or new little plant babies.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, now you know the basics of plant sexual reproduction. Let’s talk about some of the variations on the theme because heck, wouldn’t life be boring if all the organisms did it the same way all the time?
You know that expression, “teaching him about the birds and the bees”, well that is what we are doing here. And it is not just the birds and bees but the wind as well, that is involved with much of the sex that takes place in our not-so-innocent outdoors.
Oak trees, Birches, Musclewood, Ironwood, Hazelnuts, Pines, and Spruce all rely on the wind to transport their pollen. You see, all of the plants that I’ve just mentioned have two different kinds of flowers on each plant. The male flowers and female flowers of individual plants may or may not flower and be receptive to each other at the same time. Often they are not. This is a preventative measure instituted by plants to encourage cross-pollination over self-pollination. It is the plant’s way of preventing inbreeding and staying genetically diverse. For practical purposes, if you want to maximize the amount of fruit produced by the plant species I have mentioned here, it is best to plant seedling material or various clones nearby to ensure proper pollination and a good fruit set.