Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

The Naturalist's Apprentice: Flower Forms


Objective: to learn some of the different arrangements of flower petals

Materials: multiple copies of Flower Forms

Vocabulary: corolla, petal, cross-pollination, pollen

Comments: Flowers are endlessly diverse and can be very simple or quite complex. These characteristics have long fascinated people and insects, but for different reasons. The arrangement and shape of the petals (corolla) of a flower help botanists identify the plant. The different petals also attract insects for the transfer of pollen from one flower to another. This process is called cross-pollination. In this edition of The Naturalist's Apprentice, we will investigate some of the different flower petal (corolla) arrangements by trying to match descriptions with flower drawings.


1. Introduce the subject of flowers with the material presented above and in Species Spotlight.


2. Distribute copies of Flower Forms and have students match the description in column 1 with the correct flower picture in column 2. Answers: E, I, C, A, G, D, J, H, B, F


3. Have students try to name an insect that would be likely to pollinate each flower type.

Flower Forms

 The arrangement of petals on a flower helps botanists identify a plant and also attracts insects to the flower to help the plant move pollen to other plants of the same species. This process is called cross-pollination. Read the flower descriptions in column 1 and find the flower type in column 2 that is closest to the description.


Michael Jeffords, INHS Center for Economic Entomolgy.

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Last Modified 1/3/96

Please report any problems with or suggestions about this page to: 
Subject: INHSPUB-2124
Last Modified 3/19/96

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