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Pollination Explained
   
Jatropha multifida with pollinating wasp by tonrulkens on Flickr

Insects fly from plant to plant, collecting pollen from one plant and transferring it to another.
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Pollination Money Shot 3 by CarbonNYC on Flickr


All sorts of insects help to transfer the pollen.

This process is called pollination.

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Pollen by kdinuraj on Flickr

The anther contains the pollen and is held up high by the filament. These parts of a flower are the male parts and together are known as the stamen.
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Polination fever by tibchris on Flickr


Pollen is often collected by sticking to the hairy parts of insects bodies.

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Gloxinia 01 by -Merce- on Flickr

When the pollen is transferred to a new plant it attaches to the slightly sticky stigma.

Pollen grains then travel down the tube called the style to the ovary.


 
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stamen pistel by Orthoboric on Flickr

Pollen grains then travel down the tube called the style to the ovary.

The ovary contains ovulesWhen the pollen reaches the ovules they are fertilized and seeds start to develop.

The style, stigma and ovary are the female parts of the flower and together are called the carpel (or pistil). 

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Flower parts1 by brittgow on Flickr


Plastic model of the style and ovary showing the path of the pollen grains down to the ovary and fertilizing the ovules.
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Alsomitra macrocarpa seed (syn. Zanonia macrocarpa) by scott.zona on Flickr


When the seeds are fully formed they have to be dispersed.

This seed is dispersed by the wind. It is shaped to spin and float away from the parent plant to find the space and light it needs to grow.

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Mesquite Tree Seed Pods by kretyen on Flickr


These seeds explode to disperse.

 

Dispersal by explosion.

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Consciousness is also like this by osbock on Flickr

These seeds have tiny hooks on them so that they can attach themselves to clothes or animal fur.

These seeds are dispersed by animals. They are carried away from the parent plant and dropped elsewhere.

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gilded by jenny downing on Flickr


These seeds also have tiny hooks on. They are sometimes called burrs.
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Here, you take half, whispered Eve. by Muffet on Flickr


Some seeds are eaten by animals and the seeds pass through their digestive system to be expelled as waste.
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phases by OliBac on Flickr

These poppy seeds are shaken out of holes in the top of the seed pod. This is a different kind of wind dispersal.
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Cracking! by Maria Keays on Flickr


Once the conditions are right the seed can germinate, (begin to grow).
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Squashed squashes by crabchick on Flickr


Seeds will germinate when the  conditions are warm and damp.
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Spring by wit on Flickr


This is the beginning of the next generation of plants.
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