How to Tell the Difference Between Male & Female Flowers

Many flowers make the difference between pistil and stamen obvious.
••• Jupiterimages/ Images


  • If you check one flower and notice both the single pistil and multiple stamens inside, then the plant does not produce individual male and female flowers. Use a magnifying glass, if desired, to see the inside portions of small flowers.

A majority of flowering plants including annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees and shrubs carry both the male and female components of the plant on the same flower. There are some plants, however, that either grow into individual male or female plants or produce individual male or female flowers on one plant. To tell the difference between male and female flowers you’ll need to compare how each one looks to spot their differences.

    Look over the flowers of your plant to find two that don’t resemble one another structurally inside of the flower. Two different flowers may be found on the same plant, or you may need to look for two individual plants to find two difference ones.

    Examine the inside of the two flowers. One flower will have a single tube with an enlarge cap on the end, called a pistil. This is the female flower, as the pistil leads to the ovary of the plant. Often behind the flower head an immature fruit or pod of the plant can be seen.

    Check the inside of the other flower. This flower should hold approximately five or more short stalks with what resembles a pompom on the end. Each stalk is called a stamen. Pollen is produced on the puffy end of the stalk, called the anther. Seeing multiple stamen signals this is the male flower.

    Compare the male and female flowers to note other differences among the plants for your own reference. These can include variations in the vibrancy in color, placement of the flower along the plant, which may be close to the main stem or farther out, and the size of the flowers.

Related Articles

Parts of Flowers & What They Do
Science Fair Project for Potatoes
Parts of a Daisy Flower
Difference Between Flowering & Nonflowering Plants
How to Calculate Function From Ordered Pairs
What Is the Function of the Anther on a Flower?
How to Find a Ratio for a Punnett Square
What Is Function of the Pistil in Flowers?
Science Fair Projects About Growing Beans and the Life...
What is the Difference Between a Rose & a Flower?
Two Week Science Projects
How to Write a Ratio as a Fraction in Simplest Form
Compare Flowering Plants & Conifers
How to Find the Correlation Coefficient for 'R' in...
Describe the Process of Pollination & Fertilization...
Aloe Vera Science Experiments
How to Convert Inches to 16ths of an Inch
How to Convert Whole Numbers to Fractions
Science Projects on Which Fertilizer Makes a Plant...
How to Make a Model of a Flower With Parts