Flowers are the reproductive organs of angiosperms (flowering plants) which make up most of the plants grown in gardens. As well as the usual landscape and food uses, flowers specifically, are grown for:
- visual appearance (whole plant, and beauty of individual flowers)
- food (e.g. broccoli)
- attract insects (incl. honey bees) and birds (e.g. hummingbirds)
Although flowering plants (angiosperms) are the most visible and arguably dominant type of terrestrial plant today, they only became widespread around 100 Ma (million years) ago (first terrestrial plants: ~476 Ma; first angiosperms: ~140Ma).
Most plants are hermaphrodites with male and female parts in the same flower structure. However, many plants can have male and female flowers in order to reduce the chances of self-fertilization. Some plants will have only have one flower type on a plant, resulting in "male plants" and "female plants" (e.g. papaya and holly) - sometimes these plants also exhibit sexual dimorphism (e.g. papaya which has a smaller male tree, and a larger female tree with larger leaves).