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A good way to learn about the reproductive parts of a plant is by dissecting a flower. Lilies, irises, or any flower with large parts work well for this project. Use flowers from your yard or check with a local florist for free discarded flowers. You will need a scalpel or sharp knife to cut through the flower parts, and a magnifying glass to view pollen and other small parts of the flower. (Adult supervision recommended.)
Start by identifying each main outside part of the flower. Beneath the petals, there should be smooth, leaf-like projections called sepals. The male part of the flower is called the stamen; there are usually multiple stamens on each flower. The long stalk of the stamen is called the filament. At the top of the filament is the anther, which holds pollen. The female part of the flower is called the pistil. At the top of the pistil is the stigma, which collects pollen and carries it down though its hollow body, called the style, to the ovary, where the pollen fertilizes the flower's eggs. Some flowers have all male or all female parts (melons and pumpkins for example), and are called imperfect. Most flowers are perfect: they have both male and female flowers.
If there are any buds or half-opened flowers that were on the same stalk as your flower, pull them open and identify any of the parts that you can find. Do any look different than on the opened flower?
Please note that sometimes a part of the flower, such as the anther on top of the stamen, will be broken off, so you might not be able to observe all parts. If this happens, try using another flower.
For simple diagrams showing the parts of a flower, visit www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/case4/c4facts1a.html.