Flowers are most beautiful and attractive parts of a plant.
These contain reproductive structures- male and female. Flowers containing any one of these structures are known as unisexual whereas flowers containing both the reproductive structures are known as bisexual.
What is a flower?
A plant comprises roots and shoots. Roots absorb water and minerals from the soil whereas shoots cause growth and perform the function of photosynthesis.
The shoot tip elongates to bear arrangement of flowers called as inflorescence. Thus, flowers are different segments of modifications of a shoot.
The biological function of a flower is to act as a site of reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperms with eggs.
Male reproductive part of a flower is called as androecium and the female reproductive part of a flower is called as Gynoecium. Androecium has pollen sacs that produce pollen grains. Pollen grains contain male reproductive units or male gametes.
The Gynoecium has ovary as one of its parts. The ovary contains female reproductive units or the female gametes.
What is Fertilization?
Fusion of male and female gametes is called as fertilization. Fruits and seeds are resultant structures of fertilization. The fusion of male and female gametes in a flower may take place either within the same flower or between two different flowers. As we know, flowers give rise to fruits and seeds.
Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization. This process is called as Parthenocarpy.
Pollination is followed by Fertilization
Many types of flowers attract animals and some types of flowers attract insect. This is why animals and insects touch different flowers and this is how transfer of pollen grains from one flower to the other flower takes place. This process is called as Pollination. Pollination is followed by fertilization which is further followed by formation of fruits and seeds.
Facilitation of reproduction is the process of increasing the population of a particular plant species.
Flowers attract humans and Gods
Flowers attract human beings and Gods by their specific beauty and aroma. This is why humans have been using flowers to beautify their surroundings and offering flowers to Gods and Goddesses.
We know that many different types of flowers are used as vegetables like that of flowers of Drum sticks and cucurbits. These are the reasons why flowers have been being sold in markets since the development of our civilization.
During early period a flower seller used to move from door to door selling flowers. During harvesting season flower sellers use to move from one field to the other and to present flowers to land lords. In return they get grains. Flowers are used on large scale for the decoration of Cars to carry bride grooms or both. Wedding is a good source of income to flower sellers.
Flowers and garlands are sold near temples and also used on large scales during marriage and religious functions. These are very long traditions being practiced since ancient periods.
A garland of fragrant flowers is offered to someone on his grand success. A bunch of flowers is also offered to a loved one. Large scale use of floral garlands is seen during political functions. Though, some leaders have recently initiated the transfer of plants during such functions.
The Chief Minister of Jharkhand Mr. Hemant Soren has encouraged the offering of books when someone goes to meet him and so is followed by other leaders of his party. This is being observed as a setback in the business of flowers.
Demand of Flowers
Flowers have great demands in political fields. However, flowers are also used during cremation. Thus, flowers have importance in the life of a man from birth to death.
It is known that different Hindu Gods and Goddesses like different types of flowers for example Goddess Sarasvati like white flowers or blue lotus flowers where as Goddess Durga likes China rose, and Aparajita flowers.
Many farmers in different states of India grow flower plants on commercial level. Flowers are exported to different countries too. Some foreign countries have lost the demand of flowers; still India is a country where flowers are always in great commercial demand.
With the development of horticulture the production and sale of flowers are excellent occupations. In big cities there are good flower shops where flowers of different types are sold especially near temples. Bouquets of flowers are offered to guests in most of the functions in India.
Environmental significance of flowers
Flowers are important in nature everywhere. They can feed insects, birds, animals and humans; provide natural medicines for humans and some animals; besides aiding in a plant’s reproduction by inviting outside pollinators.
Without flowers, plants would merely be green, and the world would be a dull place.
There are a variety of insects that feast on the nectar of flowers, but the most notable ones are bees, wasps, ants and butterflies.
Since flowers have to depend on outside sources, besides wind and water, they have to remain very attractive or fragrant for pollinators. Many flowers develop such morphology that actually facilitates landing of insects on them and transfer of pollen from flower to flower.
Bats eat nectar of night flowers also. Nectar and pollen-eating bats feed on a variety of flowers. Some flowers open during nights only to attract insects. Most of the night flowers are white in colour and contain strong fragrance. Rat Ki Rani or the night queen is one such flower.