The ultimate guide to the different parts of a flower and plant. Includes 7 anatomy illustrations of the flower, stem, plant cell, leaf, plant structure, chloroplast, photosynthesis process and more.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the beauty of nature. As a kid I was never much of a hiker, but now I love spending an hour hiking trails.
My growing love of nature extends to gardens, trees, plants and flowers. I love how you can plant seeds or buy flowers and create something so beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s relaxing. It’s amazing.
While we have a very impressive flower database, it’s high time we put together an extensive guide illustrating and explaining the many parts of a flower and plant.
Below is our extensive guide that includes 8 diagrams illustrating the different parts of a flower and plant. We feature diagrams for the anatomy of a flower, leaf, plant cell as well as illustrations showcasing the process of photosynthesis and more.
- A. Parts of a Flower
- B. Plant Structure
- C. Parts of a Plant Cell
- D. Leaf Anatomy
- E. Chloroplast Structure
- F. Photosynthesis Process
- G. Plant Photosynthesis & Respiration Cycle
- Full Flower & Plant Infographic
- Plant Parts
A. Parts of a Flower
A flower, as you can see, has many different parts; a lot is going on. Here’s a breakdown.
The pistil is considered the “female” part of a flower because it produces seeds. Its purpose is reproduction. It’s made up of the following parts:
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The stigma is the upper part of the pistil. It receives the pollen to affect reproduction.
The style is the long part of the pistil. It provides a place for the pollen tube to grow. It also acts as a barrier for bad pollen.
The pollen tube is a part of the pistil that is located inside of the style. It enables the pollen to go from the stigma through the style to the ovary.
The ovary is the enlarged part of the pistil located at the end of the style.
The ovary is designed to protect the ovules. It’s the job of the ovules to fertilize the pollen to grow it into a seed.
In flowering plants that produce fruit, the ovary usually develops into the fleshy fruit that surrounds the inner seed.
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The ovule is located inside of the ovary. Basically, these are the flower’s eggs.
The pollen will travel from the stigma through the style to the ovary. Once in the ovary, the pollen will then fertilize the ovules.
This fertilization ensures the ovule will eventually develop into a seed. In some plants, only a seed will be grown. In other plants, a seed and a fleshy fruit will be grown simultaneously.
The petal is the colored part of the flower that gives it a unique shape.
Petals are often brightly colored to attract insects, birds, bees, and other animals. In this way, the petals aid with the pollination of the plant.
The stamen is considered the “male” part of a flower because it produces the pollen. Its job is reproduction.
The anther is located on the end of the filament. It’s usually fairly compact and is where the pollen is created.
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The filament is the long narrow part of the stamen that supports the anther. It connects the anther to the rest of the flower.
The leaf is the part of the flower responsible for making food for the process of photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide, water, and light are turned into glucose.
The stem is the part of the flower that attaches it to the rest of the plant. It also supports the rest of the flower.
In addition to supporting the flower, the stem enables water and nutrients to flow from the soil into the leaf for the process of photosynthesis to take place.
A flower’s stem is made up of the following parts:
The part of the stem that moves food to the rest of the plant is called the xylem.
The part of the stem that moves water to the rest of the plant is called the phloem.
The cambium is located inside of the stem and provides a continuous cylinder. It enables the food and water to be transported to the rest of the plant together.
Vascular Bundles (Dichotomous Plant)
The vascular bundles of the stem are the groupings of the xylem cells, phloem cells, and cambium. They only occur in dichotomous plants.
The receptacle is where the stem connects to the rest of the flower. It provides support to the rest of the flower.
These are leaf-like structures attached to the outside of the flower. They’re very similar to petals but with the function of enclosing the developing bud. Some sepals are green while others look similar to the flower’s petals.
B. Plant Structure
Two main systems make up the plant structure. These are the shoot system and the root system.
1. Shoot System
The shoot system is the above-ground portion of the plant. Its job is to produce leaves, flowers, and more. Here are its individual components:
The tip of the plant’s shoot where new sections of the shoot will grow from.
The outer layer of the plant. Provides protection and creates cuticle. The cuticle layer retains water.
New buds that are ready to grow.
Structures in the leafs to transport water and nutrients throughout the plant.
The central, thick vein in most leaves.
The area between two nodes.
The component of the plant responsible for photosynthesis.
The fleshy ovary that surrounds the seed of certain plants. Encourage animals to eat the fruit to spread the seeds.
The portion of the stem that holds onto leaves.
The long stalk that provides support for the plant. It is also responsible for transporting nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant.
2. Root System
The root system is the portion of the plant below ground. Its job is to transport water and nutrients from the soil to the rest of the plant.
The vascular tissue is the component that helps the plant suck up, retain, and circulate water and nutrients.
The roots that extend laterally from the plant to soak up water and nutrients.
The main vertical root that connects to the stem. Lateral roots branch off from this on their search for water and nutrients.
Fine hairs that help the roots soak up even more water and nutrients.
The tip of the bottom of the primary root. It’s where new growth will take place.
The very end of the primary root. It is able to perceive which way is down so the roots can continue looking for water and nutrients.
C. Parts of a Plant Cell
The cell is the basic unit of life. Plant cells are eukaryotic, meaning they have a cell wall.
These are the parts of a plant cell:
The nucleus stores DNA for the plant and coordinates activity for the rest of the cell (including growth, protein synthesis, and cell division).
A plant cell’s nucleus is made up of the following parts:
The nuclear envelope is the membrane that encloses the rest of the parts of the nucleus inside of it.
The organelle inside the nucleus that works to coordinate all the various essential activities of the cell.
A dense, fiber-like string, the chromatin stores the hereditary material for the plant, also known as DNA.
Holes in the nuclear envelope that allow certain molecules to enter and exit while preventing others from doing so.
Tiny organelle that consist of a mixture of RNA and protein.
2. Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum
A series of connected sacs inside of the cytoplasm that transport material through the cell. The “smooth” comes from the lack of ribosomes.
3. Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum
A series of connected sacs inside of the cytoplasm that transport material through the cell. The “rough” comes from the ribosomes it contains.
The chloroplast is a specialized organelle that gives the plant cell the ability to complete photosynthesis.
These are the small tubes between each plant cell that connect them to each other, enabling the transport of material and information throughout the plant.
6. Cell Wall
The rigid wall that surrounds the entire plant cell and all of its inner parts to provide protection and regulate its many functions.
7. Plasma Membrane
Similar to the cell wall, except that it’s a flexible layer of protection just inside the cell wall’s boundaries.
The cytoplasm is a gel-like substance that contains water, organelles, and nutrients. It’s located inside the cell membrane.
An important cellular structure that helps store material, provide growth and reproduction, and improves protection.
These are rods that provide support to give the entire plant cell its shape.
Very small structures inside the cell that help with the process of photorespiration.
An important component of photosynthesis, mitochondrion work to convert glucose and oxygen into energy.
13. Golgi Apparatus
The purpose of the Golgi apparatus is to create, store, and send materials (most importantly, protein) throughout the plant cell.
D. Leaf Anatomy
The process of photosynthesis is successful largely thanks to a plant’s leaves.
The leaf takes in sunlight, receives water and nutrients from the rest of the plant, and brings in carbon dioxide and produces oxygen to create food for the plant.
The leaf is made up of the following parts.
The cuticle is the waxy surface on the outside of the leaf. Its job is to prevent the leaf from losing valuable water.
Located inside the veins of the leaf, the xylem is a layer of cells that transports water throughout the plant.
Also located inside the veins of the leaf, the phloem is a layer of cells that transports nutrients (mainly sugar) throughout the plant.
The stomata (plural for stoma) are small pores in the epidermis that open and close to release or retain oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water.
Tubes made out of vascular tissues that work with the xylem and phloem to transport water and nutrients throughout the plant.
6. Spongy Mesophyll
The spongy mesophyll are loosely packed cells in the middle of the leaf. The air between the cells allows for the capture and release of gas. They contain a lot of chloroplasts.
7. Palisade Mesophyll
Column-like layers of cells between the epidermis and spongy mesophyll. Also full of chloroplasts.
The outer layer of cells in the leaf. It’s located directly below the cuticle. Contains special guard cells that tell the stomata when to pen and close.
E. Chloroplast Structure
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The chloroplast is the part of the plant where photosynthesis occurs. They are made up of the following parts.
1. Plant Cell
The chloroplast itself is located inside of each plant cell.
The chloroplast converts sun light into food (sugar) for the plant with the help of water and carbon dioxide.
Special thylakoids stacked on top of each other. They are connected to each other by separate thylakoids.
A special internal membrane system where the process of photosynthesis takes place.
5. Thylakoid Lumen
The internal portion of each thylakoid that contains the molecules necessary for photosynthesis.
The chloroplast is the part of the plant where photosynthesis occurs. They are made up of the following parts.
1. Thylakoid Space
The area where the thylakoids are located.
The “skeleton” of the chloroplast. They protect all of the cells.
The name for a single thylakoid stack.
4. Stroma Lamellae
The connecting membrane between each granum.
5. Outer Membrane
The outer membrane is the outer layer that protects the inside workings of the chloroplast.
6. Inner Membrane
A softer layer, the inner membrane protects the stroma and grana.
A protein-rich component that affixes carbon to the food molecules and synthesizes sugar.
A special internal membrane system where the process of photosynthesis takes place.
F. Photosynthesis Process
Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to create their own food with sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.
The first step consists of the leaves absorbing sunlight and carbon dioxide while the roots absorb water.
The chlorophyll uses the energy from the sunlight to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere while the hydrogen bonds with carbon dioxide to create sugar.
The plants then use this sugar as food/energy.
ATP is a molecule that stores energy during photosynthesis. NADPH is a molecule that transports this energy.
Both ATP and NADPH are involved in the Calvin Cycle. This is when the carbon dioxide and the glucose are combined to make sugar.
G. Plant Photosynthesis & Respiration Cycle
Photosynthesis and respiration are two processes that are very important to the survival of plants.
In fact, the two processes depend upon one another. You can’t have photosynthesis without respiration and vice versa.
Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into food (glucose). Oxygen is released as a byproduct of this process.
Cellular respiration is, in many ways, the opposite process. It consists of the breakdown of the food (glucose) into energy. It’s how plants burn and metabolize the food. Carbon dioxide and water are byproducts of this process.
Despite their similarities, photosynthesis and cellular respiration are very different. Below we explain the specifics of each process in greater detail.
Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into food.
It takes place in the leaves of plants. A component of the leaves known as chlorophyll kickstarts the process of photosynthesis.
But first water must travel from the roots of the plant through the stem to the leaves. Here it waits in the chlorophyll for photosynthesis to begin.
At the same time, the leaves are taking in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It meets with the water to be used during photosynthesis.
Sunlight is the final ingredient in the recipe that is photosynthesis. It’s what gives the chlorophyll the energy needed to combine the water and carbon dioxide into glucose.
A series of chemical reactions take place within the leave, mostly in the chlorophyll, to turn sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into glucose the plant can use as food to survive.
In addition to glucose, the process creates oxygen. The oxygen is then released into the atmosphere for other living organisms to consume.
The two main chemical reactions that take place during photosynthesis are light-dependent reactions and light-independent reactions.
Light-dependent reactions are those that take place in the sunlight. Molecules known as ATP and NADPH are produced thanks to this sun energy.
Light-independent reactions take place once ATP and NADPH are produced. These molecules are used to fuel chemical reactions known as the Calvin Cycle.
The Calvin Cycle is when carbon dioxide molecules are broken down and combined with water to create glucose. It’s also when the oxygen is released as a byproduct.
Photosynthesis can only take place during daytime hours since it requires sunlight to complete.
Simply put, water plus carbon dioxide creates oxygen and glucose to fuel the plant. That’s photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is a process that only takes place in plants (as well as some algae). Animals can’t use photosynthesis.
Cellular respiration, on the other hand, takes place in both plants and animals. In fact, plant respiration is very similar to animal respiration.
Both plants and animals use the process of respiration to convert food into energy.
During respiration, plants take in water from their roots and stems. This is then sent to the leaves to await photosynthesis in the chlorophyll.
Oxygen and glucose are also taken in by the leaves of the plant. As the energy is used and metabolized by the plant, carbon dioxide and water (in the form of dew) is released by the plant.
The plant cell’s mitochondria and cytoplasm are responsible for respiration while the chlorophyll is responsible for photosynthesis.
Plant respiration is similar to the way that animal’s breath. Though not exactly the same, they both accomplish much the same goal. It’s a way for the plant to get rid of byproducts while also pulling in required nutrients.
Cellular respiration takes place both during the night and during the daytime while photosynthesis only takes place during the sunlight hours.
Simply put, oxygen plus glucose creates water and carbon dioxide that’s expelled from the plant. That’s respiration.
Full Flower & Plant Infographic
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Tags: Flowers, Plants Categories: Gardens and Landscaping
Plants with stems that are usually soft and bendable. Herbaceous stems die back to the ground every year.
Plants with stems, such as tree trunks, that are hard and do not bend easily. Woody stems usually don’t die back to the ground each year.
A process by which a plant produces its food using energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air, and water and nutrients from the soil.
The movement of pollen from one plant to another. Pollination is necessary for seeds to form in flowering plants.
What’s the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
A fruit is what a flower becomes after it is pollinated. The seeds for the plant are inside the fruit.
Vegetables are other plant parts. Carrots are roots. Asparagus stalks are stems. Lettuce is leaves.
Foods we often call vegetables when cooking are really fruits because they contain seeds inside.
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What Do Different Plant Parts Do?
Plant parts do different things for the plant.
Roots act like straws absorbing water and minerals from the soil. Tiny root hairs stick out of the root, helping in the absorption. Roots help to anchor the plant in the soil so it does not fall over. Roots also store extra food for future use.
Stems do many things. They support the plant. They act like the plant’s plumbing system, conducting water and nutrients from the roots and food in the form of glucose from the leaves to other plant parts. Stems can be herbaceous like the bendable stem of a daisy or woody like the trunk of an oak tree.
|A celery stalk, the part of celery that we eat, is a special part of the leaf structure called a petiole. A petiole is a small stalk attaching the leaf blade of a plant to the stem.||In celery, the petiole serves many of the same functions as a stem. It’s easy to see the “pipes” that conduct water and nutrients in a stalk of celery.||Here the “pipes” are dyed red so you can easily see them.|
Most plants’ food is made in their leaves. Leaves are designed to capture sunlight which the plant uses to make food through a process called photosynthesis.
Flowers are the reproductive part of most plants. Flowers contain pollen and tiny eggs called ovules. After pollination of the flower and fertilization of the ovule, the ovule develops into a fruit.
Fruit provides a covering for seeds. Fruit can be fleshy like an apple or hard like a nut.
Seeds contain new plants. Seeds form in fruit.
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