Sunday, 7 September 2014

Parts of a composite flower

We previously had a look at the parts of a simple flower, and in this post we have a composite flower. 

In the simple flower there was a cluster of sexual organs in the centre of the flower. The female organ was in the centre of the cluster and the male organs were in a ring round about. The composite flower still has a cluster of sexual organs in the centre. However, this cluster of organs is made up of several tiny individual flowers. 

Osteospermum 'Tresco Purple'

The close-up below shows the cluster of sexual organs in more detail. If you look closely you can see that each tiny flower has a central female organ with a sort of yellow cross on the top. Surrounding the female organ are a number of male organs which each have a green top. Then surrounding the male organs are some very small white petals.

If you count the female organs (with the crosses) then you can see that there are very many tiny flowers. This is why the whole big structure is called a composite flower. It is composed of many little flowers, with just one ring of big mature petals round the outside.

That's all you need to know to understand composite flowers. Next time you see a daisy, you can now give it a knowing look. :-)