What Are Pistils and Stamens?

The stamen and the pistil are the male and female reproductive parts of a flower. The stamen is the male part of the flower, which produces pollen that contains the male gametes needed for reproduction. The stamen is comprised of an anther and filament. The stalk-like filament supports the anther, which contains four fused chambers named microsporangia.

Flowers can have multiple stamens, depending on the type of plant they come from. For example, roses have dozens of stamens, but some grasses have only one stamen. Stamens originate near the pistil base or are fused at their base with petals.

A flower’s female reproductive part is called the pistil. The pistil is made up of a stigma, a style, an ovary and ovules. The pistil is responsible for producing the ovules that join with pollen to produce fruit. The style is a support structure for the stigma. The stigma receives pollen from the stamen and transfers it to the unfertilized ovary. A flower’s ovary is housed in a superior, intermediate or inferior position depending on the plant species. Within the ovary, ovules are stored within special sections called carpels. Each ovary becomes a mature fruit, and its mature ovules become its inner seed.