There are two main groups of plants on planet Earth. There are those that
produce seeds and those that produce spores. Let’s talk first about the seed
producing plants.
These plants have roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. The flower is the part of the
plant that makes seeds. Its parts include the sepals, the stamen, the pistil, the
stigma, the ovary, the ovule, and the seed.
Sepals are special leaves that protect the flower petals
before the flower opens up. Once the petals of the
flower open, their bright colors attract insects and
protect the stamen and pistil.
The stamen is the male part of the flower that produces pollen. The pistil is the
female part of the flower and it has two main parts; a sticky end called the stigma
and a hollow structure called an ovary that holds eggs or ovules.
Pollination occurs when a pollen grain from the stamen
is transferred to the sticky stigma by insects, birds, or
the wind. From the stigma, the pollen travels down the
pistil to the ovary where it fertilizes the ovule. The
fertilized eggs then grow into seeds. Once scattered on
the soil, seeds produce new plants with roots, stems,
leaves, and flowers!
Not all plants produce seeds. Some plants produce spores.
Spores are microscopic specks of living material. Ferns and
mosses are spore-producing plants. A fern, for example,
produces spores on the undersides of its leaves. The spores
look like brown patches or pads. When spores are scattered on
the soil they produce new fern or moss plants.