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SQUASH FLOWERS

squash flowersSquash plants have separate male flowers and female flowers all appearing on the same plant. In other words, squash plants are monoecious. The two blossoms at the right, shown at about their real sizes, were plucked from the same plant in my garden.

If you don't know what stamens and ovaries are, you may want to review our Standard Blossom Page.

One curious thing about the male flower is that the stamens' pollen-producing anthers and filaments are fused together. In the cross-section at the right you can see how the filaments form a teardrop-shaped  item that's empty inside.

Of course the large yellow item forming the lower 2/3rds of the female flower at the right in the picture is the future summer squash, but it's also the squash flower's ovary. The immature squash has been sliced open to show its ovules, which are the future seeds. The greenish, husk-like thing at the top of the female flower is the immature corolla. Later this will enlarge and turn orange like the corolla of the more mature male flower to the left of the female blossom. You can see that the stigma of a female squash flower is very conspicuous.

Since both the calyx and corolla arise above the flower's ovary, we would say that squash flowers have inferior ovaries. If the calyx and corolla arose below the ovary, the ovary would be superior.

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