Carpel and Pistil

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Define Flower

Flower is defined as a highly condensed and modified reproductive shoot system or it can also be defined as modified shoot where in the shoot apical meristem changes to floral meristem their internodes do not elongate and the axis get condensed. Calyx, corolla, androecium and gynoecium represent four whorls of sterile and fertile leaves borne at different nodes. A sterile pistil or gynoecium or ovary is known as pistillode.

Example: Gall flower of hypanthodium. 


What is Carpel

Carpels are composed of the stigma, style and ovary, the female parts of a flower. Flowers can have one or more carpels. It can also be defined as the fourth whorl of the flower present in the center. 


What is Pistil

The word pistil is derived from the latin term pistillum, pestle. It can either be the same as an individual carpel as it comprises stigma, style, ovary or a carpels fused together. This means a pistil can have lots of carpels.

Difference Between Carpel and Pistil

                          Carpel

                          Pistil 

Carpel is the female part of the flower consisting of stigma, style and ovary. 

Pistil can be either the same as an individual carpel or a collection of carpels fused together. 

Made up of stigma, style and ovary.

May contain one or more carpel.

Their number can be counted, by counting the number of separate carpel.

Their number can be counted by counting the number of separate ovaries in the flower.

They function mainly by producing eggs.

Egg production is absent in pistil.

Fertilization occurs. 

Fertilization does not occur.

Their main function is dispersal of seed. 

They work as the female reproductive part of flowers.

Seed production is there. 

Seed production is not there. 


Important Facts Regarding Flower

1. Gynobasic style is a characteristic feature of the family labiate (Ocimum) where style arises from the depression or cavity in the centre of the ovary or directly from thalamus. 

2. Feather like stigma is called plumose stigma as in grasses( Gramineae).

3. Receptacle is the modified, flattened pendulus on which flowers lie in a specific manner.

4. An additional whorl of bract is called involucre.

5. Gynoecium is considered as a modified leaf( megasporophyll).

6. Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest flower. 

7. Long filamentous threads protruding at the end of a young cob of maize are style.

8. The colored sepals other than green color are called sepaloids. Example: Garden nasturation.

9. The term staminode is given to reduced or non-functional stamens. Example: Saliva.

10. If only one carpel is present in gynoecium then this condition is called monocarpellary condition.

11. If more than one carpel is present in gynoecium then this condition is known as polycarpellary.

12. When all carpel are fused, then this condition is called syncarpous. Example: mustard, tomato.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain the Term Carpel?

Carpels are composed of the stigma, style and ovary, the female parts of a flower. Flowers can have one or more carpels. It can also be defined as the fourth whorl of the flower present in the center.

2. Explain the Term Pistil?

The word pistil is derived from the latin term pistillum, pestle. It can either be the same as an individual carpel as it comprises stigma, style, ovary or a carpels fused together. This means a pistil can have lots of carpels.

3. Explain the Term Gynoecium?

Gynoecium constitutes the inner essential whorl of flowers comprising carpels. Carpel is the unit of gynoecium and it is distinguishable into basal ovule bearing region, terminal pollen receiving region(stigma), joined by stalk-like structure (style). The number of carpel is usually fixed for a plant species and it is described as monocarpellary, bicarpellary, tricarpellary, tetracarpellary, pentacarpellary or multicarpillary.