We all know how to recognize common flowers when we see them and most of us are able to distinguish their most showy parts, such as petals or stamens, at least in the most popular species.
However, the sepals are great unknown in many cases and, although they are very important, they go much more unnoticed when a flower is adult. Do you want to know what the sepals of a flower are? What are sepals for? If you want to find the answer to these and other questions, join us in this AgroCorrn article about what sepals are and their function .
- What are flower sepals and their characteristics
- What function do flower sepals have?
- Types of sepals
- Other parts of the flowers
What are flower sepals and their characteristics
The sepals of the flowers are plant structures that appear in angiosperm plants , that is, the so-called flowering plants . These are small modified leaves , with a rough texture and herbaceous appearance, which are found between the stem and the petals, acting as the outermost envelope of the floral calyx.
¿ Where are the sepals , then? At the end of the floral calyx, acting as a point of union with the stem . Another characteristic of the most common sepals is that they tend to be green, thus differentiating themselves from the flower petals, usually of other colors.
However, the question ” what color are the sepals ?” Is not so easy to answer, since this condition does not always exist and although most sepals are green, it is not the case of all. Some flowers, whose sepals share the color of the petals, are called petaloid calyx, as occurs in tulips , lilies or pomegranate.
And what do the sepals form ? Together with the petals , these make up what is called the sterile part of the flower , because although they intervene in the pollination and fertilization process, they do not do so directly.
To finish explaining what they are, we have a final question about the characteristics of flower sepals. How many sepals does a flower have ? Not all share the same number of these small modified leaves. Counting the number of sepals will make it easier to identify the different species, which is why they are a little help for the most meticulous scholars and hobbyists.
What function do flower sepals have?
What are flower sepals for ? The main function of the sepals occurs during the flower formation process . The main task of the sepals is to protect the reproductive organs of the flower in these early stages. Later, with the flower already mature and open, its function is much more secondary, and it becomes to prevent pollinators from taking shortcuts on their route to the nectar , forcing them to pass through the stamens and stigmas, which makes catch the pollen.
In addition, the sepals are still small leaves so, in those flowers in which they maintain their green color (therefore, they have chlorophyll ), they are capable of photosynthesis , in addition to fulfilling other functions of the leaves such as that of respiration and perspiration , although logically and due to its small size, to a lesser extent than the leaves themselves.
Types of sepals
We can classify the sepals of the flowers into several groups according to their characteristics:
Types of sepals according to their morphology
- Dialysepals: are those that are found in the calyx more freely.
- Gamosépalos: they are the sepals that make up the calyx in a united way and that, in general, are welded to each other by the edges.
Types of sepals according to the duration of the flowers
- Ephemeral: ephemeral sepals are those that come off when the flower opens. In fact, within this group there are also the so-called deciduous, which are those sepals that come off once the flower has been fertilized.
- Persistent: the so-called persistent sepals are those that remain in the calyx even after fertilization.
Other parts of the flowers
In addition to the sepals, there are other well-differentiated parts of the flowers that you can easily observe if you stop to take a look. It is true that, depending on the species, the structure of the flowers can be more or less complex, but in general you can instruct yourself and learn to mark each part with the flowers you have at home or in the gardens or parks near your home. .
- Peduncle: it is a kind of small stem, also known as a stalk, whose function is to support the flower.
- Floral thalamus or receptacle: the area where the entire flower structure sits is called the thalamus.
- Perianth: it is composed, in turn, by the calyx and the corolla. The calyx is a structure, generally green, formed by sepals and the corolla formed by the flower’s petals. The function of the calyx is to protect the flower, while the corolla is in charge of attracting the attention of pollinating agents.
- Carpel: here are the sexual organs of the flower: the stamens and the pistil. The stamens are the male organ and the one in charge of producing pollen. Rather, the pistil is where the female organs of the flower meet; this set is also known as gynoecium.
In this other AgroCorrn article we show you more about what are the parts of a flower and their functions .
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