General Stages in the Lifecycle of Flowering Plants

1. Flowering plants grow from seeds. Seeds contain a tiny embryo plant, together with stored food reserves. The seed is surrounded by a tough coat which protects it.

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2. Different kinds of plants produce different kinds of seeds. The seeds are often carried to new places away from the parent plant. Some may be blown by the wind, others may be carried by water and others by birds or   other animals.


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3. When a seed arrives in a suitable habitat, it may immediately start to grow (germinate). Some seeds however, need to remain dormant for some time before they will germinate.

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The male parts consist of stamens. Each has a stalk and a (usually yellow) head called an anther. The anthers contain pollen grains. The female parts of the flower are called ovaries, or carpels.They have a tube called a style. On top of this tube there is a special surface to receive the pollen called a stigma.

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5. Once plants are adult, they can begin to produce flowers. This may take only a few weeks for plants such as grasses, or many years for plants such as Oak trees. Flowers contain male and female parts. In most plants, these are both together in the same flowers. However, in some, they are in separate flowers on the same plant (Hazel). Some species may have separate male and female plants (Holly).  NEXT

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4. The first two leaves of a seedling often look different to the adult leaves. They are green and as soon as they open in the light, the little seedling can begin to make its own food. It then no longer needs to use the food reserves in the seed. The seedling makes its own food using water, carbon dioxide from air and light, in a process known as photosynthesis.