Introduction about Pistil

The pistil is the female part of the flower, which mainly consists of stigma, style, ovary and ovule. 

The pistil is primarily designed for the process of pollination and further followed by the fertilization process. During the process of pollination, a compatible pollen grain lands on the stigma and then further it germinates, forming a pollen tube. 

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The pollen tube starts to grow down (tissues of the style) to deposit sperm for the process of fertilization with ovules in the ovary. The pistil is a kind of collective sense of the female reproductive system to collect the male gametes from the male reproductive part or androecium.     

Structure of Pistil 

The pistil is the female reproductive part of the flower, which is located centrally in the flower. It mainly consists of the swollen base, ovary (having potential seeds or ovules), a stalk or style arising from the ovary, a pollen receptive tip and the stigma, which is variously shaped and often sticky. The number of pistils in the flower usually vary with the different species of the flower. From one to many leaf-like structures are enrolled to form each pistil, and its main function is to safeguard the ovules. 

Functions of Pistil

The main function of the pistil of the flower is to produce an ovule. Some of the other functions and importance of pistil are given below:

  1. The pistil is the female reproductive structure of the flower.

  2. Pistil helps to receive pollen and in the fertilization process.

  3. The pistil is also involved in the process of germination of the pollen grains.

  4. It also helps to transfer pollen grains in the process of pollination.

  5. The pistil is composed of the stigma, which has a sticky top and it plays a vital role in the germination process of the pollen grains.

How do Flowering Plants Reproduce? 

Reproduction in the flowering plant begins with the process of pollination when pollen from anther is transferred to the stigma of the same flower or the stigma of another flower. Once the pollen grain is trapped on the stigma, the pollen tube starts to grow down from the pollen grain to the ovule. The male gamete, two sperm nuclei passes through the pollen tube, among them, one unites with the egg nucleus and produces a zygote. Pistil stamen gametes interaction is very important for fertilization to occur. The other sperm nucleus unites two polar nuclei to produce an endosperm nucleus. The fertilized ovule develops into a seed.

Carpel and Pistil – Differences

Some of the common differences between the carpel and pistil are given below:



Carpel is a female reproductive structure in a flower.

The pistil is the ovule or seed-bearing female organ of a flower.

It comprises an ovary, stigma and style.

Composed of a variable number of carpels.

Carpels function by producing egg cells.

But in the pistil, there is no production of egg cells.

Undergoes fertilization.

No fertilization occurs.

There is a production of seeds.

There is no production of seeds.

Helps in seed dispersal.

Serves as the female reproductive part of the flower.

The main significance of the carpel is that the total number of styles in the flower helps to distinguish the number of carpels.

The main significance of the pistil is that the total number of ovaries in the flower helps to distinguish the number of pistils.

Pollen–Pistil Interaction

Whenever pollination occurs in the flower does not lead to successful fertilization, the pistil of a flower has to recognize the pollen of the same species. Therefore, it is very important to understand the interaction between the pollen grains and the stigma of the flower properly. When the compatible pollen is accepted by the pistil of a flower, a further process of fertilization begins, and the incompatible pollen is rejected. The interaction where a pistil is capable of recognizing its pollen is possible due to the long term pollen-pistil interaction and chemicals released by pollen.

Events of Pollen-Pistil Interaction Proceed as follows:

  • The landing of true pollen on the compatible pistil is the first event of pollen pistil interaction.

  • Germination of pollen and formation of pollen tubes where pollen grains release their contents.

  • Pollen tube growth through the style of the pistil towards the ovary.

  • The entry of male gametes into the ovule and then to synergid.

Do You Know?

What is stamen and pistil botanicals? It is one of the cute garden shops, with a western design and some of the cool paintings on the window. Stamen and pistil botanical is a neighbourhood tropical plant and terrarium store in some of the places. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Purpose of the Pistil in the Flower?

Answer. The pistil is the ovule producing part of the flower, which is supported by the ovary of the flower. In the flower mature ovary is known as the fruit and the mature ovule forms the seed. Pistil mainly consists of the three parts stigma, style and ovary. Where stigma is used to trap the pollen grains and style is a long tube-like structure where the male gametes travel and the ovary is the place where fertilization occurs.   

2. How many Parts does a Pistil have?

Answer. The pistil has three parts, which is usually located in the centre of the flower. And it is made up of three parts, stigma, style and ovary. The stigma is the sticky knob at the top of the pistil, which is attached to the tubelike structure called style. Finally, style leads to the ovary of the flower, which contains the female egg cell known as ovules.

3. Is the Pistil Male or Female?

Answer. The pistil is the female reproductive part, so it is pretty clear that the pistil is female. In general, the pistil is shaped like a bowling pin and is located in the centre of the flower. Pistil of the flower consists of stigma, style, and ovary,  The stigma is located at the top and is connected by the style to the ovary composition of all these three-parts known as the pistil. 

4. What is Apocarpous and Syncarpous Pistil?

Answer. A flower that contains the separate pistil is known as the apocarpous, and if it contains a single pistil with two or more united carpels, It is known as syncarpous.  These differences of the flower are used to determine the taxonomic relationships.