Meaning of Androecium

Meaning of Androecium

A Greek word came to Latin as androecium and then to Spanish as androecium. It is a concept used in the field of botany with reference to the male whorl of flowers in spermatophyte plants (also known as phanerogams).

The whorls are at least three organs or appendages that are in the same plane around a stem. In the case of androceo, it is made up of stamens (male organs of the flower). It can be said, in this way, that the androceo is the sector of the flower where the male gametes are produced. These gametes are found in the pollen grains.

The stamens of the androecium are made up of the filament and the anther. The filament is the sterile part of the androecium; its extension varies in each case: it can be very short or very long, or even be absent. When the latter occurs, the anthers are said to be sessile, that is, they are subject to the substrate in the absence of the support that the filament would provide. Although it usually has the shape of a thread, it can also have certain appendages and have a considerable thickness, so we are not talking about a strict appearance for all individuals.

Unlike the filament, the anther is the fertile part of the androecium. The normal thing is that it is made up of two thecae (cells within which the formation of spores takes place; each one of them has two microsporangia or pollen sacs), as occurs in the case of the Malvaceae; the Megatritheca, however, have three. A sterile portion of tissue known as the connective is responsible for uniting the teak.

The pollen that contains the gametes is produced from the anther. This output, known as dehiscence, can be carried out in different ways according to how the anther opens. It takes place after the maturation of the pollen grains and the tissue in charge of this task is called endothecia.

When the opening of the anther of the androceo occurs in all the extension of the septum that divides the pollen sacs, which occurs more frequently, we speak of longitudinal dehiscence. In the Lachemilla and Hippocratea, on the other hand, the so-called transverse dehiscence takes place.

These are not the only two possibilities of dehiscence in the androcean, but there are others that are characterized by a location in limited regions, which rise as windows or leaflets; This is the case of poricidal dehiscence, in which the endothelial tissue does not exist and therefore the exit of the pollen is carried out by means of the rupture of the tissue of the upper end of the anther and the formation of specific pores for this task.

The number of stamens in the androceo is very variable: in some cases it can be only one, as occurs in some Euphorbiaceae; the Oleáceas, on the other hand, have two; in the Mirtáceas, several are appreciated. Taking these examples into account, the names given to flowers according to their number of stamens are monandras, diandras and poliandras, respectively.

It should be noted that, in the structure of the flower, the androecium surrounds the gynecium: the female reproductive part that consists of carpels. Androcea is usually found in the perianth, which forms with the sepals and petals. It is important to mention that the androceo can be shorter or more extensive than the perianth, sometimes coming out of it. On the other hand, the position of the whorls also varies according to the floral species.


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