The key difference between staminate and pistillate is that staminate flower is a flower that contains only stamens (male reproductive organs) while pistillate flower is a flower that contains only pistils or carpels (female reproductive organs).
The flower is the reproductive structure of flowering plants or angiosperms. A flower has different parts including petals, sepals, stalk, stamens, and, pistils. Stamens and pistils are important parts since they involve in sexual reproduction of angiosperms. Stamen is the male reproductive organ of a flower. It consists of two parts: anther and filament. Inside the anther, there is pollen (male gametes). In contrast, pistil (carpel) is the female reproductive organ of a flower. It consists of three parts: stigma, style and ovary. Furthermore, based on the reproductive organ they possess, flowers can be categorized into two types; staminate and pistillate. However, most flowers have both male and female reproductive organs in the same flower.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Staminate
3. What is Pistillate
4. Similarities Between Staminate and Pistillate
5. Side by Side Comparison – Staminate vs Pistillate in Tabular Form
What is Staminate?
Staminate flower is a flower that has only the male reproductive organ. In simple words, it is a male flower or an androecious flower. Male reproductive organ of a flower is the stamen. Stamen has two parts: anther and filament. Staminate flowers do not possess active female reproductive organs. Some monoecious plants produce separate male or female flowers on the same plant. Moreover, some dioecious plants produce either staminate or pistillate flowers on separate plants.
For example, cucumber is a dioecious plant, and it produces staminate flowers, as shown in figure 01. It is a small yellow colour flower. Chrysanthemum is another example that produces staminate flowers known as disc florets.
What is Pistillate?
Pistillate flower is a flower that possesses only female reproductive organs: pistils or carpels. Hence they are female flowers. Pistil or carpel has three parts: stigma, style and ovary. They do not bear active stamens.
Hence, these flowers receive pollen from another flower and become fertilized. Cucumber is an example which bears pistillate flowers. It also bears separate staminate flowers. However, pistillate flowers are distinct since they have a swollen base area due to the ovary.
What are the Similarities Between Staminate and Pistillate?
- Staminate and pistillate flowers are two types of flowers.
- Both types possess only one type of active reproductive organs, either stamens or pistils.
- However, some flowering plants bear both staminate and pistillate flowers in the same plant.
- Moreover, only cross-pollination occurs in both staminate and pistillate flowers.
What is the Difference Between Staminate and Pistillate?
Staminate and pistillate flowers are unisexual flowers. They have only one type of reproductive organ. Accordingly, staminate flowers have only stamens while pistillate flowers have only pistils. That is; the staminate flower lacks pistils while pistillate flower lacks stamens. Therefore, this is the difference between staminate and pistillate flower.
Summary – Staminate vs Pistillate
In summarizing the difference between staminate and pistillate flower, the staminate flower has only active stamens and lacks pistils. In contrast, pistillate flower has only active pistils, and no active stamens. Therefore, staminate flower is a male flower that bears male reproductive organ while pistillate flower is a female flower that bears female reproductive organ. Nevertheless, some monoecious plants produce both staminate and pistillate flowers separately in the same plant. On the other hand, dioecious plants produce either staminate or pistillate flowers in one plant.
1. “Cucurbita foetidissima staminate flower 2003-05-19” By Copyright by Curtis Clark, licensed as noted – Photography by Curtis Clark (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Juglans nigra, Black Walnut pistillate flower, Howard County, MD, HeLoMetz_2017-06-01-13.38” By USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab (Public Domain) via Flickr