Photographic anatomy of a flower

I’ve often felt that the textbook pencil diagrams of a flower’s anatomy are a little lacking in the beauty of a flower. So, when one of our lily flowers had a petal damaged by the wind, I decided to take a macro photograph & label it up for education. As always 🙂 the project ended up going a little further …

Firstly let’s define the different parts labelled in the featured image above (a larger version of the diagram may be viewed or downloaded from the gallery at the bottom of this article) :

    Stamen – The stamen is the male part of the flower. It consists of the Anther & the Filament. The Anther is the pollen bearing part of the flower. Pollen particles develop from microspores within the anther & are then dispersed from the surface of the anther. The Filament supports the anther in whatever position that flower has evolved to require.
    Pistil / Carpel – Is the female part of the flower. A flower may have varied number of Carpels consisting of an ovary joined to one or several Style & Stigma. The Stigma is the area which receives pollen, it is often uppermost & of a folded or branched nature that is sticky on the surface. The Style is the supporting structure that joins the Stigma & Ovary, it is through this tissue that a pollen tube will grow when the flower is fertilised. The Ovary contains the ovules that will be fertilised by pollen, from which union the plant’s seed will ultimately form
    Calyx – is the combined modified leaf structures known as Sepals & Petals. Petals – are formed from modified leaves and surround the reproductive organs mentioned above. They are often used not just for protection but also to advertise the flower to potential pollinators. As such they are frequently decorative & brightly coloured. The Sepals (not shown) are normally plainer, often green. They protect the flower as it forms & often help support the petals when in full bloom.
    Stem – the supportive structure that physically holds the complete flower structure, whilst also containing the structures required to supply nutrient & water to those structures. (Perhaps something to cover another day)

1. The flower pictured has lost one of its anthers in the blustery weather, as well as one petal folding over to expose the ovary.
2. You are free to download & use the labelled photograph for educational purposes as long as the credit to me is kept in place.

Please refer to the gallery below for more detailed macrophotography & micrographs of these structures:

Spider Prey

Perhaps not for those of a sensitive disposition, here’s a pair of photos showing a quite striking female Four-spotted Orb Weaver (Araneus quadratus).

Orange spider with striped legs
Four-spotted Orb Weaver spider wrapping her prey.

In both pictures our female spider is busy wrapping her fly dinner in a silken cocoon.

Orange spider
Four-spotted Orb Weaver

There’s quite a colony of these spiders living in the riverside meadows.