Stigma in a Flower: Function & Parts

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  • 0:00 Function of a Stigma
  • 1:01 Parts of a Stigma
  • 1:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.

There are many parts of a flower involved in their reproduction. One of those parts is the stigma. In this lesson we will take a closer look at the structure and function of the stigma to gain a better understanding of this pivotal part.

Function of a Stigma

In order for plants to survive, they must have a means for fertilization and reproduction. In plants, the male gametophyte used in reproduction is pollen. For fertilization to occur, the pollen grains must be transferred from the anther, where they are produced, to the pistil, which contains the female gametophytes. Pollen is often transferred by wind or by animals, such as butterflies and bees. In order for the pollen to reach the female gametophyte inside the pistil, it must have a place to land and enter. In a flower, this landing zone and entrance is the stigma. It plays a pivotal role in reproduction.

Most stigmas are adapted to trap pollen with hairs, flaps and other surfaces to increase their efficiency. Most stigmas are covered with a waxy, sticky substance. This wet substance allows stigmas to provide an important service by re-hydrating dry pollen to prepare the grains to enter the ovary and initiate the process of fertilization.

The hair-covered stigmas of a hibiscus flower.
Image of Hibiscus stigmas.

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