What Is the Female Part of a Flower Called?

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The female part of the flower is called the carpel or pistil. The pistil is comprised of three parts: the stigma, style and ovary. Flowers can have male parts, female parts or both; those with only female parts are called carpellate or pistillate flowers.

The pistil resides in the middle of the flower. The stigma portion of the pistil possesses a sticky surface onto which pollen can adhere. The style is a narrow passage leading from the stigma to the ovary. When pollen grains stick to the stigma, a pollen tube grows from the stigma, leading the pollen down the style and into the ovary. The ovary houses the ovules or egg cells. Corn silk is an example of how the stigma and style can be combined.