What Is the Function of Flower Petals?

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The main function of flower petals is to attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees and bats. Flower petals typically have bright and vivid colors which assist in pollination by drawing the attention of insects, birds and animals. Some petals have markings, such as spots and stripes, to help pollinators find the pollen in the flower.

Pollination is the means of reproduction in flowers. Pollinating insects, birds and animals hover over petals to gather pollen. This helps in the process of pollination. Some flowers have large, attractive blooms that release heavy scent. Other flower petals attract insects for food. Carnivorous plants use their petals to capture and absorb nutrition from insects. Examples of insect-eating plants are Venus flytrap and pitcher plants.

The collection of petals surrounding the flower are called the corolla and behind them are often leaves called the sepals. Each flower can be either male, female or hermaphrodite. Male flowers, called staminate flowers, have only stamen and no pistil or stigma. Female flowers, called pistillate flowers, have no stamen but have stigmas and pistils, and hermaphrodite flowers, called complete flowers, have all of the reproductive parts.

There are wind-pollinated plants, such as grasses, but these often have no petals or the petals are small and unremarkable. There is a wide range of different colors in flowers that attract different insects, and they often have patterns to help the pollinators find the nectar.

Pollinators are vital in the reproduction of many different types of plant life, and they are required in order for pollen to be distributed from one plant to another. Because there are so many different flower types, pollinators have favorite flowers and can determine which flowers they wish to pollinate. Pollinators will also guard and pollinate the flowers that they prefer.