A form of asexual reproduction where a seed is formed without fertilization occurring. The seed contains only the genetic information from the single parent plant


A type of pollination in which pollen is distributed by the wind; examples of anemophilous plants include most grass species: wheat, rice, rye, barley, oats, etc.


The component of the male floral reproductive structures in which pollen grains are produced


A term for flowers whose ovules are reproductively compatible with pollen from the same flower, from the same plant, or from another plant individual


A group of individuals sharing certain biological characters that distinguish them from other individuals of that species

Buzz pollination

Pollination by a flower-visitor who physically agitates the flower parts to release pollen; bumblebees are an example of insect pollinators that perform buzz pollination


A form of self-pollination in which flowers remain unopened and are fertilized inside by their own pollen

Composite flower

A conglomerate of tiny flowers (florets) that organize together to form a singular structure; examples include the flower heads of daisies and sunflowers


Transfer of pollen from one plant to the stigma of a different plant in the same species


From the Greek root meaning “two houses”; refers to a plant in which male and female reproductive functions are found on separate individuals who possess only imperfect flowers of one gender


An abode or residence; examples of domiciles for wild or alternatively managed pollinators include drilled wood blocks and cardboard tube nests.


Tissue within the seed that develops along with the embryo, and which serves as a nutrient source during germination


A type of pollination in which pollen is transported by insects; occurs in a large number of flowering plants, including many tree fruit


A small or reduced flower


A moveable, structural component of standard honey bee hives on which bees build their wax combs


A term for flowers whose ovules are reproductively compatible with pollen from a flower of the same plant or from another plant individual, but are not compatible with pollen from within the same flower


Any plant tissue containing genetic information which can be used to develop new individuals; seeds and vegetative tissue such as leaves are both examples of germplasm


The physical separation of male and female reproductive structures within a single flower, which reduces interference between the functioning parts.


The offspring resulting from sexual reproduction between two genetically and/or physically unique individuals; hybrids often will possess positive traits from each parent

Imperfect flowers

Flowers which contain reproductive organs of only one gender, male or female


Fertilization between two genetically identical (self-fertilization) or similar individuals; can result in the expression of harmful mutations in resulting offspring


The section of a plant body that is modified for reproduction, including flowers, stalks, stems and modified leaves


In legume flowers, two petals that form a cover over the reproductive structures in a keel-like shape


From the Greek root meaning “one house”; refers to a plant in which male and female reproductive functions are present in the same individual. Male and female structures may be distributed on the plant in either perfect flowers, imperfect flowers, or a combination of both.


An interaction occurring between organisms in which each participant experiences a benefit


A sugar-rich liquid which contains other molecules such as amino acids, minerals, etc.; serves as an attractant to pollinating animals and is an important energy source for them


Nectar-producing glands located within flowers (floral) or along leaves (extrafloral)


The component of the female reproductive structures which develops into a seed following fertilization with male pollen; analogous to an egg in animals


A developmental phenomenon where a fruit develops without fertilization or without mature seeds forming, resulting in seedless fruit

Perfect flowers

Flowers which contain both male and female reproductive organs; hermaphrodite flowers


A chemical released by an organism that influences other individuals of the same species


The collective term for the female floral reproductive structures (style, stigma and ovary)

Pistillate flowers

Unisexual flowers that possess only female reproductive structures, pistils; antonym of staminate flowers, which possess only male stamens


Small, motile male reproductive structures which fuse with the female ovules to produce a genetically new offspring; analogous to sperm in animals

Pollen limitation

When inadequate pollen availability results in plants producing fewer fruits and/or seeds than they have the capacity for

Pollen tube

The outgrowth of a germinated pollen grain which grows down into the female ovule to effect fertilization



A plant which provides pollen; in self-incompatible species such as apples, pollen from a different variety is needed for cross-pollination and fruit production

Poricidal anthers

Anthers which shed their pollen through pore-like openings; often require physical agitation to loosen and release pollen


A plant than can produce viable offspring through self-fertilization; the opposite condition of self-incompatible plants which must be cross-pollinated to produce seed


Transfer of pollen to a stigma within the same flower or between flowers on the same plant individual


The collective term for the male floral reproductive structures (filament and anther)


The component of the female reproductive structures on which pollen grains must be delivered in order to germinate and fertilize the ovule

Stalk-like component of the female floral reproductive structures, between the stigma and the ovary


In flowers like those of alfalfa, the activity of a pollinator that causes the pistil and stamens to be released from tension beneath the keel petals and exposed


Flowers whose ovules are compatible only with pollen from genetically different plant individuals of the same species.