Why do flowers look and smell so good

Why do flowers look and smell so good

Plants are intelligent life forms just like us. They use flowers to reproduce. Flowers are bright and produce strong scents to attract bats, birds and insects, which helps for pollination.

We need to first know about plants and their parts. I was talking about reproducing, right ? Its other name is pollination. There are very important parts of the flower. They are carpel and stamen. The carpel consists of stigma, style and ovary. The stamen consists of pollen grains, anther and filament. The carpel is one female part of the flower and the stamen is the male part. The process of pollination is in which the pollen grains (which are inside the anther) travel from the one anther to the stigma. The grains stick on the stigma and slowly slide down into the ovary. Inside there are egg cells called ovules. When the pollen grains reach the ovule, the ovules turn into seeds by a process known as fertilization.

There are two types of pollination. One is self pollination and another is cross pollination. Self pollination is the process in which the pollen grains are transferred from the anther to the stigma of the same or different flower of the same plant. Cross pollination is the processing which the pollen grains are transferred to the anther to the stigma of another flower of another plant. This happens with the help of pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, bats, other animals and insects.

Now, the pollinators come to the flower using the scent coming from the flower. So, how do the flowers make scents ? Floral scents begin as oils that are produced by the petals in most flowers. Methyl benzoate has a pleasant scent, similar to the fruits of feijon tree. It is an organic compound. It is an ester with the chemical formula C6H5CO2CH3. It is a colorless liquid. Scientists call floral scents as volatile compounds because they evaporate in warm weather.

Did you know that some flowers are edible and some flowers are deadly. Let us look at edible and deadly flowers.

  • Edible flowers: You can eat these flowers (petals only). Flower cookery has been traced back to roman times. E.g, in China, peony petals are boiled and sweetened for a tea - time treat. Marigold petals can taste spicy, bitter, tangy or peppery , young dandelions taste sweet but mature ones are bitter.

  • Deadly flowers: Don't be fooled by the pretty flowers and juicy looking berries. These plants are poisonous, so don't touch and never taste. E.g., Autumn crocus (colchicum), adonis, Daphne, Angel's trumpet (Datura innoxia), oleander (Nerium oleander).

Never eat flowers unless you know for sure that they are edible. Some can make you ill and some can even kill.

Find the odd one out from below list: Tomato, Grapes, Apple, Raspberry, Watermelon, Turnip.

It is Turnip, because it is a vegetable and others are fruits. Fruits come from flower. Turnip is a root.

Now, you know why flowers look and smell so good and what is pollination.

Did you know ?

The Puya raimondi is a very rare plant that grows in the Andes mountains of South America. It may wait an incredible 140 years before blooming and dying. Its stunning flower head can be 10 m (33 feet) tall.

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