Bloomers: What are the Parts of a Flower?

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Author: Janice VanCleave


What are the parts of a flower?


  • sheet of tracing paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • 3 sheets of construction paper: 2 green, 1 red
  • walnut-size ball of modeling clay
  • flexible straw (use a green one if available)
  • transparent tape
  • one-hole paper punch
  • ruler
  • six 3-inch (7.5-cm)-long pipe cleaners: 1 green, 5 yellow
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 l) fine-ground yellow cornmeal



  1. Lay the tracing paper over the patterns for the petal, sepals, and leaf. Trace and cut out the 3 patterns.
  2. Use the leaf and sepals patterns to cut one sepal and two petals from one of the sheets of green construction paper.
  3. Fold the red construction paper in half twice. Place the petal pattern on the folded paper as shown. Draw around the petal pattern, then cut along the lines you drew. Unfold the paper.
  4. Bloomers

  5. Place the second sheet of green paper on a table. Use the clay to stand the straw on the paper, flexible end up. Tape the leaves to the lower part of the straw.
  6. Slightly bend about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of one end of the green pipe cleaner and insert the bent end in the end of the straw.
  7. Make a hole in the center of the sepals and petals with the paper punch.
  8. Insert the sepals over the green pipe cleaner through the hole in the sepals. Do the same for the petals.
  9. Bend 1/2 inch (2.5 cm) of one end of a yellow pipe cleaner to a 90° angle. Insert the straight end of the yellow pipe cleaner through the holes in the petals and sepals and into the straw.
  10. Repeat step 8 for each yellow pipe cleaner. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the bent ends of the yellow pipe cleaners.

NOTE: Keep the flower model for the next experiment.


You have made a three-dimensional model of a flower that shows its basic parts.


There are two types of plants: plants that flower and plants that do not flower. Flowers contain reproductive organs (organs that produce more plants). Flowering plants reproduce when two special cells, a female egg and a male sperm, join together. This joining, called fertilization, results in the formation of a seed.


In your model, the green pipe cleaner represents the top of the pistil (the female reproductive organ), and the yellow pipe cleaners represent stamens (the male reproductive organ). The pistil, which contains the eggs, is in the center of the flower and surrounded by several stamens. The stamens produce pollen grains, yellow dustlike grains that contain sperm, represented by cornmeal in your model. For fertilization to occur, pollen grains must be transferred from the stamens to the pistil. This process is called pollination.

Petals are often brightly colored leaflike structures that surround and protect the pistil and stamens. A sugary liquid substance called nectar is produced in organs at the base of the petals. The bright color and the nectar attract birds and insects. Pollen grains stick to the bodies of birds and insects and are carried from one flower to the next, which helps pollination occur. Sepals are leaflike, usually green, and surround the flower before it opens.

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