The Life Cycle of a Flower

Posted on June 25, 2010

For many, flowers are symbolic of life.  The blooming of flowers in the spring is a sign of renewal—a new life beginning after the long winter. What many don’t realize is that the colorful blossoms we often associate with the beginning of the life cycle of a flower actually appear closer to the end.

Flower Life Cycle & the Seed

A flower’s life cycle starts with a single seed.  Oftentimes, the seed is carried away from the parent plant, whether it be by the wind, or through the digestive tract of an animal. Ultimately, the seed is deposited in the soil. From a human perspective, it may seem that seed dispersal occurs randomly, often by accident. The truth is often quite the contrary. Some flowers are designed to have their seeds eaten by animals, creating specific built-in protections for the plant’s offspring.  Most animals continue to travel once they have eaten, ensuring that the seeds will be deposited away from the parent plant, eliminating competition between the parent and offspring and ensuring a flowers life cycle can reach maturation.

The life cycle of a flower is depend on the flower parts shown in this diagram

Seeds eaten by birds are often deposited underneath trees, which can serve as nurses to guard a delicate developing plant. At the very least, a seed eaten by an animal has the security of growing in some fertilizer. Once the seed is deposited, the circumstances have to be just right during the life cycle of a flower. The ratio of light to dark, the amount of moisture, temperature, and even the presence of digestive enzymes can have an effect on the germination of a seed. Once the necessary conditions are met, the seed will begin to sprout.  With adequate rainfall and sunlight, the sprout will grow upwards, developing leaves, and eventually buds.

Flower life cycle relies on insects like this bee to help pollination and spread the plant

Flower Plant Life Cycle & Pollination

We, as humans, typically enjoy the beauty and sweet aromas of brightly colored flowers.  These attractive qualities are not incidental. Insects such as bees, moths, butterflies, and beetles are also attracted to the scents and bright colors. Some birds, like the hummingbird, and bats are also drawn to certain flowers. Up to 80% of plants enlist the assistance of insects and other small animals to transfer pollen from one flower to another during the a flowers life cycle. The remaining 20% rely on the wind to carry their pollen. Once a flower is pollinated, fertilization can occur, and seeds are produced.  When the flower is about to die, the seeds drop, and the flowers life cycle begins all over again.

Flower plan life cycle blooms like this red rose is the last stage of the cycle

A Flowers Life Cycle

As you can see, the life cycle of a flower can be a beautifully complex process, affected by many different variables.  The elements in the flower plant life cycle, contributes to the uniqueness of each individual flower, ensuring that no two grow exactly the same.  What fun our professional floral designers have using these flowers to create unique and individual flower arrangements.

Posted in Manhattan Florist Shop