When you think of plant reproduction what do you think of? Most people think of pollination and bees and what not. Well they wouldn’t be wrong. The reason that this is the first thing to pop into our minds is because the majority of plants we interact with are Angiosperm. This is because Angiosperms are efficient at protecting and spreading their seeds.

The seed of an Angiosperm house the embryo. These are protected by a carpel that protects against cold weather or drying out. This carpel is the fruit that many organisms such as mice, birds, and even us, eat. The organism ingests the seeds and later spread them out in their feces. So when you look at it this way the fruit (such as an apple or peach) is just a large ovary.
But, as
you might have guessed Autumn Crocus does not produce any edible fruit, quite the opposite. So how do they reproduce? The Autumn Crocus has become so adapted to its environment that it no longer requires sexual reproduction and therefore can reproduce asexually via corms. Corms are much a like a bulb except instead of having layers they are solid on the inside.  They produce offshoots of themselves and since only one parent plant is needed the daughter plants are exactly identical to the parent. This is called vegetative reproduction. A smaller corm called a cormel grows off the parent and matures to produce its own flower. In planting, the cormels can be cut off and replanted to start a new bed.

Sexual Reproduction
What happens if the environment changes? The Autumn Crocus still has its flower containing the pistil and stamen. When it is pressured the flower can revert to sexual reproduction to ensure the survival of its species. Nectar is contained within the cup of the flower, when bees come down to collect it their legs, body, and wings brush against the stamen and get covered in pollen. When the bee flies to the next flower the pollen can be shaken off onto the stigma where it travels down the style to the ovary where fertilization occurs.

Go to Classification to learn more about Angiosperms.

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