Skip to main content
Select Source:

pistil

pistil (pĬs´tĬl), one of the four basic parts of a flower, the central structure around which are arranged the stamens, the petals, and the sepals. The pistil is usually called the female reproductive organ of a flowering plant, although the actual reproductive structures are microscopic. The pistil has a bulbous base (the ovary) containing the ovules, which develop into seeds after fertilization of egg cell(s) in the ovule. A pistil is composed of one or more highly modified leaves (carpels), each containing one or more ovules. A flower may have one or more simple pistils, each a separate organ, or, in higher orders, a compound pistil, formed of several fused carpels. Usually, there is above the ovary a stalk (the style) bearing on its tip the stigma, where the pollen grains land and germinate (see pollination). The stigma is often sticky or hairy, to retain the pollen. Evolutionary relationships can often be inferred from the location of the ovary in relation to the other parts of the flower. If the stamens, petals, and sepals are attached beneath the ovary, the flower is hypogynous and the ovary is superior; if they are attached above, the ovary is inferior and the flower epigynous; if the ovary is located in a receptacle at the outer edges of which are attached the other flower parts, it is called superior or half-inferior and the flower perigynous. A flower that has one or more pistils but no stamens (or nonfunctional ones) is called pistillate, or female, as distinguished from a staminate, or male, flower, in which the pistil is nonfunctional or absent.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pistil

"pistil." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pistil

pistil

pis·til / ˈpistl/ • n. Bot. the female organs of a flower, comprising the stigma, style, and ovary.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil-0

"pistil." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil-0

pistil

pistil Female organ located in the centre of a flower. It consists of an ovary, a slender style and a stigma, which receives pollen.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pistil

"pistil." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pistil

pistil

pistil The female part of a flower, consisting either of a single carpel (simple pistil) or a group of carpels (compound pistil).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil-0

"pistil." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil-0

pistil

pistil (bot.) female organ of a flower. XVIII. — F. pistile or L. pistillum PESTLE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil-1

"pistil." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil-1

pistil

pistil The gynoecium of a syncarpous flower; each carpel in an apocarpous one.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil

"pistil." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil

pistil

pistil •anthill • Edgehill • sidehill • molehill •foothill • dunghill •sigil, strigil, vigil •strongyle • Virgil • Gaitskell • orchil •roadkill • Danakil • overkill •amyl, Tamil •treadmill • windmill • gristmill •sawmill • watermill • vinyl • mini-pill •overspill • Caryl •mandrel, mandrill •Avril •beryl, Cheryl, chrysoberyl, imperil, Merrill, peril, Sheryl •tendril • April • Cyril • fibril • nombril •nostril • Bovril • tumbril • escadrille •espadrille • gracile • Cecil • utensil •codicil • windowsill •dactyl, pterodactyl •pastille • standstill •dentil, lentil, ventil •quintile • pistil • postil • tormentil •ethyl

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pistil." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pistil." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil

"pistil." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pistil