Flower of a Cymbidium orchid

Flower of a Cymbidium orchid

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Caption: A flower of a hybrid Cymbidium orchid. Orchids are monocotyledons, with floral parts in threes. In this picture, there are three sepals visible (one vertical, two facing downwards, all yellow-green) and three petals. Two of the petals (facing upwards) resemble sepals; the third is white with a pattern of purple spots and a bright yellow region; this petal is the labellum, and is a landing stage for pollinating insects. Above the labellum is a curved structure ending with a pale cream anther cap. The curved structure is called the column or gynandrium, and contains the male and female reproductive structures. A visiting insect, attracted by the labellum, displaces the anther cap to expose two sticky masses of pollen, called pollinia. Behind the pollinia lies the stigma. The pollinia attach themselves to the insect, which transfers them to the stigma, effecting pollination.

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Keywords: biological, biology, botanical, botany, column, cymbidium hybrid, insect pollination, labellum, orchid, petal, pollen, pollination, pollinia, sepal, stigma

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