What Is a Flower Ovule?

A flower ovule is the plant structure containing the embryo sac. It is the basis of the female reproductive system for a flower, and it is one part of the pistil. Ovules are produced by the ovary, which is an enlarged basal portion of the pistil in flowering plants. The ovary often supports a long style, another female part of the flower, topped by a stigma.

Where the ovules are located varies on the type of flower. In flowering plants or angiosperms, the ovary protects and encloses the ovule. With conifers and other gymnosperms, the ovules are uncovered on the outside of the cone. The location of the ovules determine plant classification. Campylotropous ovules are 90-degree angles to the funiculus. Anatropous ovules are near the funiculus, and orthotropous ovules stand straight in the cavity of the ovary. The funiculus is a short stalk or fruit wall, much like a placenta.

When a flower is fertilized, pollen lands on the stigma. A tube grows down the style and enters the ovary. The ovule, the female reproductive cell, is then fertilized by male reproductive cells, and this occurs in the embryo sac. After fertilization, the germ cell develops into a seed, and the ovary eventually grows into the fruit.