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Terms & Definitions

Female reproductive structures

stigma – tip of pistil that receives pollen
style –  long column that connects the stigma to the ovule
ovule – female germ cells that develop into seeds following fertilization
ovary – organ below the stigma and style which surrounds the ovules and develops into fruit tissue after pollination and seed development
pistil – entire female reproductive structure containing the stigma, style, ovule, and ovary
carpel – structure which includes the ovary and ovule

Male reproductive structures

anther – pollen bearing structure which typically contains two lobes and pollen sacs
filament – thin elongated structure that supports the anthers
stamen – entire male reproductive organ which contains the anthers and filament

General Terminology

perfect flower – a flower that contains functional male and female reproductive structures

imperfect flower- a flower that contains either functional male or female reproductive structures
receptacle – portion of the flower stalk attached to floral structures
sepal – green, leaf-like structures that protect the developing bud
calyx – includes all sepals on a flower
corolla – includes all petals
parthenocarpy – production of fruit without fertilization of ovules by pollen
pollination – movement of pollen from anthers to receptive stigma
self-fertilization – mating and reproduction within the same hermaphroditic individual
inbreeding – mating and reproduction among closely related individuals
outcrossing – mating and reproduction among unrelated individuals
pollen tube – conduit that forms within the style enabling pollen to travel from the stigma to the ovules
hypanthium – floral tissue composed of fused petals, calyx, and stamen
meristem – undifferentiated plant tissue that gives rise to plant organs including leaves and flowers
bearing habit – the location of and types of buds which form flowers and fruit in perennial crop species