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The Nature HandbookA Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors$
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Ernest H. Williams Jr.

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179293

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179293.001.0001

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FLOWERS AND SEEDS

FLOWERS AND SEEDS

Chapter:
(p.1) 1. FLOWERS AND SEEDS
Source:
The Nature Handbook
Author(s):

Ernest H. Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179293.003.0001

The central theme in this chapter on the reproduction of flowering plants is the tremendous diversity of reproductive mechanisms that exists to achieve pollination and to disperse seeds. The floral features that attract visual pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are appealing to the eye, but not all flowers are visually attractive. For many, wind is an alternative mechanism for the transfer of pollen; for some, odor is more important than appearance; and for those that open at night, visual patterns are decidedly secondary. Further steps are needed after pollen has been transported from one flower to another and each egg in the flower's ovary has been fertilized by one of the two sperm nuclei from each pollen grain. Reproduction is not complete until dispersal of the developed seeds, and plants offer a surprising array of mechanisms to achieve that goal.

Keywords:   flowering plants, reproduction, pollination, wind, dispersal, bees, butterflies

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