Gynecium: What It Is, Parts And Function - Summary

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The female reproductive organ of plants is called gynoecium in biology. It is one of the most important parts of a flower that we have decided, here at Ecologist Verde, to explain and clarify questions such as what is gynoecium, what are its parts and what is its function, as well as some of its main characteristics. Again, as in other articles, we want to bring you a little closer to the world of plants so that you increase your knowledge of botany. Knowing the parts of a flower, such as the gynoecium and androecium, will help you not only to enrich your basic knowledge, but also to understand the complex world that you have around you. And do not worry if it seems very complicated at first, you just need to get comfortable and read this simple article made for all lovers of the natural world.

What is gynoecium

It is called gynoecium, formerly called pistil, to the set of female flower organs. Located in the center, the gynoecium of the flower is composed of one or more modified leaves that take the name of carpels. Carpels are those floral whorls specialized in the production of female ovules or gametes. In fact, the gynoecium varies depending on the type of classification within the plant kingdom.

In the case of angiosperm plants, the carpels are fused to create a structure that protects the ovary to favor the production and development of ovules. However, in the case of gymnosperm plants, the carpels of the plants are free and open, so the ovules are without any protection. Taking into account these differences we can begin to talk in depth about the parts of the gynoecium so that you can learn to differentiate them.

Parts of the gynoecium

Next, we explain in a clear and simple way what are the parts that make up the gynoecium and how they are formed or by what parts are formed each of these structures that make up the organs of the female reproductive system of flowers:


It is located in the upper part of a carpel or, in the case of angiosperms, in the upper part of the set of carpels.


It is formed by a folding of the carpel itself or by the union of several carpels. Some species of plants have a gynoecium without style.


The ovary is formed by an enlarged portion at the base of a single carpel or as a result of several fused carpels. In addition, depending on their location, the ovaries are classified as supero, if it is located in the flower receptacle, semi-inferior if it is besieged in an intermediate position and inferior is located inside the flower receptacle. In the same way, they are also classified depending on the number of carpels that form it. We will speak of a unicarpelled ovary when it is made up of a single carpel capable of folding to give protection to the ovules, bicarpellate when it is formed by two carpels, and multicarpelar or pluricarpellar, if it is formed by a fusion of several carpels.

They can also be classified depending on the number of eggs that are inside. Here we will talk, as happens with the carpels of: uniovular, with a single ovule, biovular, with two ovules inside and multiovular with several ovules.

Gynoecium function

The gynoecium has the function of production and protection of female sexual ovules or gametes, in order to ensure the pollination process that will result in the seed creation. In addition, it also facilitates the reproduction and dispersal of seeds in order to ensure the survival of the species.

Each part that makes up the gynoecium is responsible for fulfilling a vital function to achieve pollination of the plant. Therefore, we will explain the function to perform each of these parts separately:


The main function of the stigma is to receive pollen grains or male gametes. Therefore, it is impregnated with a sticky substance to ensure that pollen does not scatter.


This tubular-shaped structure, whose length varies depending on the species, is responsible for joining the stigma with the ovule. In this way, when the pollen grain is attached to the stigma, the style germinates to create a pollen tube so that it reaches the ovary.


The ovary is the cavity formed by a single or several carpels where fertilization occurs. Once pollinated, the ovary grows until it becomes a fruit inside which the seed is protected. However, the main function of the fruit will be to ensure the dispersal of the plant. Hence, many fruits that we know are fleshy to attract animals that will be responsible for transporting the seeds and passively disperse them through feces. They can also have structures capable of easily adhering to animals or, simply, facilitating their dispersal by other climatic agents, especially thanks to the wind as in the case of samaras.

Now that you've learned all this about the gynoecium or the female reproductive organ part of plants, we encourage you to learn more by reading these other articles:

  • Reproduction of plants.
  • Parts of the flower and their functions.

If you want to read more articles similar to Gynoecium: what it is, parts and function, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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