Talk:Gynoecium

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Redirect[edit]

Moving this to Wiktionary, and replacing this by a "redirect", is an idea. At this stage I dare not say if it would be wise, it will depend on how things will shape up. The botany part of Wikipedia is quite immature.

Having relatively short entries is not a bad thing in itself. Brya 09:45, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I propose merging to carpel as has been done with androecium to stamen. A related proposal can be found at petal. Richard001 08:38, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the merger.. I don't think anyone would have a problem if it was made. Ardo111 04:09, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Oppose; a gynoecium is not necessarily a floral structure, such as in bryophytes. That said, I do think the current content should be merged with the carpel article, and the gynoecium page should become a disambiguation page only. --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:09, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
The phrase 'See carpel for a longer discussion' probably should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.171.196.187 (talk) 08:55, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Done. Carpel was merged here it seems, perhaps the page names needs resolving. A number of redirects link here, including circular ones, and via dabs. I support the proposal to disambiguate and move this to carpel, but perhaps it needs a mention at WT:PLANTS. cygnis insignis 05:17, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Gyneocium = Female[edit]

I realize that many people associate the seed producing parts of (seed)plants with female and the pollen producing parts of (seed)plants with male, but this is slightly controversial. Some botanists argue that strictly speaking, only gametophytes should be ascribed sex, while sporophytes should not.

It might be worth mentioning, for the sake of extreme rigorousness, that the gynoecium is the ovule or seed producing whorl of a flower, which is often called "female" since it gives rise to female gametophyes. Similarly, the androecium is "male" only because it gives rise to male gaemtophytes.

Walter Judd is a proponent of this very fine distinction. I personally think it is OK to call carpels "female" and stamens "male" (though I personally attempt to avoid this terminology), I just think it is worth mentioning the issue in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaplot (talkcontribs) 01:07, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Major Revision Needed[edit]

I have just looked over this page and agree with the tags that it is in need of serious help. I will take a shot at it and am eager to get any comments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaplot (talkcontribs) 01:31, 17 May 2009 (UTC)Michaplot (talk) 03:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

    Redid the intro. Will do more soon. How do you edit the Contents box?  —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaplot (talkcontribs) 04:48, 17 May 2009 (UTC) 

Major Revisions Made[edit]

In a flurry last night and today, I have created a draft of a new page for this topic. I believe it is much more accurate and inclusive, however it still needs some work. Specifically,

-lots of clean up to be done; -many words and phrases need to be linked to other wikipedia pages; -references are needed; I will put more in as I get time; -possibly the article should be restructured.

Comments or edits appreciated Michaplot (talk) 23:27, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Brackets in the introduction definitely need to be cleaned up. Also the 'inaccurately' should be removed, and instead a 'however, some scientists say that this is not strictly true etc etc' at the end of the sentence. Laters. 129.67.38.36 (talk) 20:04, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree about the article needing clean up. I changed the wording of the phrase you pointed out. The reference is the Judd book. Walter Judd pointed this out in his review of some chapters I wrote for a book, and I have been correcting this common inaccuracy myself ever since. What do you think of the new wording?Michaplot (talk) 21:38, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Irrelevant link[edit]

Under the section 'Carpel morphology', the word 'stylus' has a link to a completely irrelevant article, and so this link should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 175.138.105.254 (talk) 11:20, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, quite the wrong meaning. It is now changed to the appropriate Wiktionary entry. Nadiatalent (talk) 11:34, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

So... does this article need attention or not?[edit]

I poked at this article a bit yesterday after finding it in the "articles needing expert attention" list. And today I find my edits reverted, with an explanation that I find incomprehensible. Now, I'm sure my edits aren't perfect, and maybe I did just miss the mark entirely and wrote stuff that was simply worse than what was there before. However, in either case I would like to respectfully suggest that simply reverting the whole thing without a coherent explanation is not an appropriate response to good faith edits. At the very least, if editing is not welcome keep the article out of the "needs attention" list! Paalexan (talk) 18:22, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

The article can certainly use work. I think Nadiatalent might have rejected your edits, in part, because you did change the focus of the article from a general description of the gynoecium to one that puts the bryological sense as an afterthought. I think you will have to defend this change in emphasis.
As for the pistil≠gynoecium, your edits seem to re-muddy the waters. As the previous version suggested, the terms are confusing, even to botanists. Your edit that each discrete unit of the gynoecium is a pistil is potentially confusing. This may be what Nadiatalent objects to. By discrete, I assume you mean free. However, some might consider a gynoecium composed of three fused carpels to have three discrete units, especially if they are easily discernible. And what about partially fused carpels as in apocynaceae (sensu APG)? I think it is better to explain that these terms are potentially confusing. I further contend that the pistil terminology is less exact and is based on what you see when you look at a gynoecium and not on carpel units.
A few other concerns:
  • Within the section on the angiosperm sense of gynoecium you put "complete" in the same parenthesis as perfect. I would object to this as it is not strictly accurate. A perfect but incomplete flower might still have the gynoecium surrounded by the androecium. I think it was better in its previous incarnation, where complete was put before perianth.
  • You say: "Each carpel contains one or more ovules". This is not strictly accurate, e.g. some portulaceae might have 3 fused carpels containing a single ovule.
  • You say: "fertilization of ovules". I don't believe ovules can be fertilized. Eggs can, so this should be amended to the more standard usage.
  • You say: "Each carpel in a gynoecium usually consists of...". This, again is not strictly true, if more than one carpel is fused into a single structure. A syncarpous gynoecium can still have a single ovary, style and stigma.
  • In Carpel Morphology, you changed "structure" to "carpel". This is not strictly accurate as the structure may consist of more than one carpel, but have a single stigma. The word "structure" avoids having to explain this untoward aspect of nature, but is still accurate.
  • Placentation might be a good heading for the section previous called The Ovary. I wonder if this would work better as a table or list rather than a long text description that is not likely to be useful to many people. Illustrations would be especially nice.Michaplot (talk) 23:11, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
So... regarding mosses, there is precisely as much information about mosses there now as before. I moved it slightly, that's it. The previous incarnation seemed odd to me, because the second sentence tells you what a gynoecium is in mosses, giving the impression this is going to be a major topic of the article... and then you never hear about them again. Why put bryophytes front and center in the intro if that isn't what the article is about?
Regarding pistils, you're probably right that the phrasing of pistils as distinct units could be better. I'll see if I can change that in a second. However, the previous version of this, IMO, just gave a few muddled sentences amounting to "all this terminology is confusing; referring to the gynoecium in terms of pistils is worse, but sometimes better" without providing any idea of what exactly a pistil is. It struck me as profoundly unhelpful. I think this may also be improved by moving the discussion of pistils towards the end of the article.
Regarding other comments:
1) A flower that is perfect and complete will have gynoecium, then androecium, then perianth, as indicated by that sentence. That said, it's a mess of a sentence either way...
2) You do have a point. The addition of the word "normally" may solve the problem.
3) Yes, this requires some additional fiddling with. The problem with simply saying the egg is fertilized is that the reader would have no idea from the article how this relates to the other structures being described.
4) I disagree. In a syncarpous gynoecium, the ovary is composed of the fused ovaries of several carpels. Each carpel has an ovary, they're just connate. That this compound structure is also called "an ovary" is just an inconvenient aspect of terminology. (Analogously, we could object to a description of stamens as consisting of a filament and anthers on the grounds that filaments and anthers are sometimes connate to each other. However, this would seem to be a confusing view of the situation.)
5) The wording "each structure in a gynoecium, whether it consists of a lone carpel or multiple fused carpels" is just a synonym for "pistil", and what followed was a description of the parts of a pistil. That might be entirely appropriate as an additional section in the article, but I don't think it is appropriate in a section titled "carpel morphology".
6) Agreed, an illustration or two would help. I'll put one together if I have time...Paalexan (talk) 01:33, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the thoughtful response. Here are few thoughts of mine on your thoughts.

Meaning of the term gynoecium: I agree with you that the angiosperm use of the term is more common. And you did not remove any bryophyte usage descriptions, but you did remove the sentence that the term gynoecium has several meanings in botany. You replaced this with the phrase "most commonly used as..." a angiosperm term. The effect of this is to demote the bryophyte sense. I am not necessarily opposed to this, but I think it is better to retain the explicit idea that gynoecium has several distinct usages in botany right at the outset. I wonder what other people think.

As for the pistil issue: the previous treatment averred that the terms are confusing and that two systems are not exactly equivalent, each having its own merits. I think this current discussion proves that, and I think the notion of two not fully commensurate systems of terminology should be explained. I think there are some drawbacks to having the pistil information at the end of the article. For one, the term pistil is used earlier in the article. For another, many people who come to WP looking for information on flowers will be looking for the term pistil. I think it makes sense to explain the two different termninologies at the beginning. WP is for the general public and is an encyclopedia so we have to balance scientific accuracy with accessibility concerns. Further, I don't think that the sentence, "The pistil terminology is less exact and specific, and is more cumbersome, but can be useful in keys and field descriptions where detailed studies are not possible." is not saying it is "worse but sometimes better." It is merely descriptive of the two terms. There is no value judgment in the idea that the pistil terminology is less exact. And it is most useful for describing the gynoecium when you are looking with only your eyes and not a microscope. I thought the previous description did say exactly what a pistil is: "the visible structure(s) in a gynoecium". That is what a pistil is--what you see in a flower. I would be loathe to lose the discussions of the relative merits of the two systems and the comparison of them right at the beginning, since I would guess most non-botanists who come to this page will not understand the that there are two terminologies or how they compare.

1) The current sentence is not ambiguous but is awkward. It strikes me that we don't need to use the "perfect complete" here at all as most people won't know what they mean anyway. I say we remove them. 2) I would argue that the addition of the word "normally" will not solve the problem as it still gives the impression that ovules are associated with carpels on a one to one basis. Many plants have carpels that produce no ovules (e.g. coconut--three carpels, one ovule. I think we should just explain this. 3) "The problem with simply saying the egg is fertilized is that the reader would have no idea from the article how this relates to the other structures being described." There could be a link here to the article about the plant life cycle, but I am not sure how not understanding the relation of the egg (in a gametophyte, in an ovule) detracts from simply understanding that the pollen delivers sperm to the ovule where it fertilizes an egg. This is one case where scientific accuracy should not be sacrificed for simplification, I think. 4) I think you are right that botanical terminology can be inconvenient. It think it worse than inconvenient and could use revision. I would disagree with you here. I don't think every carpel has a stigma style and ovary. This would be too easy a conception of plant development. Even when carpels fuse postgenitally, where you might make the case you are making (as in Catharanthus rosea), the style and stigma differentiate from the fused structure as a single structure in their own right. In Arabidopsis carpel primordia form a cylinder which forms an ovary with two locules. There never were two carpels with differentiated ovaries, styles and stigmas. I would argue that the term ovary is a structural term and can be applied to the structure in a gynoecium whether composed of one carpel or several. (Similarly with stamens, if the filaments are fused into a column, it no longer makes sense to consider each stamen as having a filament. The difference is that this is rare. Stamens tend to be distinct structures. Gynoecia commonly tend to be compound. Perhaps this is why the WP page on androecia is called "Stamen" while this page is not called "Carpel".)

This also why it does not make sense to try to maintain an account of ovules associated with individual carpels (although this works in some cases). It does not make developmental sense for all plants to say that a carpel has an ovary that fuses with another carpel's ovary. Though this does happen in some plants, in many others syncarpy occurs so early that the resulting gynoecium is a structure in its own right. Even if you make a case for ovaries, which might be distinguished by vascular traces and such, you cannot make the case for the other parts of a carpel. And even if you want to maintain that each primordial carpel has an ovary, stigma and style of its own (even at the genetic level), what difference does this make? The compound structure is what counts. I think it dubious and confusing to say that each carpel "usually consists of" an ovary stigma and style. I think it makes much more sense to say that a gynoecium (whether composed of a single or multiple carpels) has those parts.

5) I agree that the phrase that was present before is not appropriate in a section titled "carpel morphology". So I think we should change the section to Gynoecium Morphology and put it back the way it was. Since carpels are so frequently fused, it does not make sense to treat them as separate structures. We could have a section on carpel anatomy, but this would get fairly technical. Might be fun.

It would be nice if some other people joined this discussion and put in their two cents.

Thanks for a good discussion related to this important article.Michaplot (talk) 22:46, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I may respond in more depth later, but for the moment... regarding ovaries, carpels, etc.: I think our main disagreement is in that you are taking a developmental view that differs substantially from what I'm familiar with from a more phylogenetic / taxonomic standpoint. When I say that a given syncarpous gynoecium is composed of three connate carpels, I do not mean that there were three distinct carpels early in development, and these three previously distinct structures become fused later in development. They could be fused through the entire developmental process, and I would still say there are three connate carpels. Instead, I describe structures as being connate (or adnate) in a phylogenetic or evolutionary context: we know that free carpels, free petals, etc., is the ancestral condition. In order to arrive at a syncarpous gynoecium (or sympetalous corolla, etc.), this requires that structures that were distinct in the ancestral state are fused in this derived state. That progression need not be recapitulated in the development of every flower that has the derived state.
The view that you seem to be advocating, that we should only discuss structures as being connate or adnate to each other if the process of connation or adnation is something that occurs within the developmental process of a specific flower is, in my opinion, both baffling and fundamentally inconsistent with the way the terms "connate" and "adnate" are used in plant taxonomy. In this view I'm not sure how to describe something as apparently straightforward as the corolla of Ipomoea. Is it one petal, with no connation? Is it a sympetalous corolla of five connate petals? Paalexan (talk) 00:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I tend to look at plants from a phylogenetic perspective as well, but I think this is a question of terminology not evolution. I would say a sympetalous corolla, as in Ipomoea, is clearly one structure that originated from five distinct structures (phylogenetically, if not developmentally). For the purposes of systematics it is relevant to know that the corolla is composed of five fused petals, but the question of whether each petal still has a separate identity is philosophical or perhaps semantic. The point is, Ipomoea has a sympetalous corolla, which is a derived structure. The same is true of gynoecia. A syncarpous gynoecium is a single structure. It does not make sense to me to discuss individual carpels having an ovary in the context of a syncarpous gynoecium.
I am certainly not saying we should not discuss structures as connate or adnate. It is important to know, for systematic purposes, that a particular gynoecium is a derived structure compose of five connate carpels. The point is those five carpels have become something more than the sum of their parts. They have become a unitary structure in their own right, and it no longer makes sense to describe the three parts of a carpel in the context of a syncarpous gynoecium. (This is perhaps analogous to the toes of ungulates. We call the foot of an ungulate a hoof. It might be interesting to know how many digits compose a hoof and how they have been modified. But a hoof is a structure that has its own features, such as morphology/anatomy, development, etc, and it makes no sense to discuss the features of a toe in the context of a hoof (except phylogenetically to describe the modifications involved in fusing toes into a hoof)).
So for the purposes of this article, I think we should describe a gynoecium as consisting of an ovary, style, stigma, as long as the point is made that these terms apply to the gynoecium which can be composed of one carpel or several connate carpels. The terminological confusion among non-botanists should be addressed: if each carpel has an ovary, style and stigma, how can a syncarpous gynoecium of three carpels still have but one ovary, style and stigma? I think it makes more sense to the average non-botanist to explain that these structures are typically found in a gynoecium (and this could be distinct carpel(s) or connate carpels). The terms are the same either way, and the structures look very similar either way. If we go through the typical botany text description of a carpel with three parts and then introduce the concept of a syncarpous gynoecium, I think it will be more obdurate to the general public. If we do go that route, I think the article should be called Carpel, not Gynoecium. I would strongly advocate for keeping the article about gynoecia and perhaps having a section on carpel morphology and anatomy and development and such, later in the article--that is after the gynoecial structures are explained and the pistil/gynoecium issue is explained.Michaplot (talk) 03:52, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
So, as I understand it, you're suggesting that we view a syncarpous gynoecium as a set of connate carpels, but not view the parts of a gynoecium as the result of connation of the parts of the constituent carpels. I honestly can't tell what this is supposed to accomplish. For instance, "If each carpel has an ovary, style and stigma, how can a syncarpous gynoecium of three carpels still have but one ovary, style and stigma?" The answer is: the ovaries, styles, and stigmas of the three carpels are connate. I don't think that's a prohibitively complicated explanation. Further, omitting any description of the characteristics of carpels does not solve the problem. Here's the analogous question: "How can a syncarpous gynoecium of three carpels have but one ovary, style, and stigma?" Surely the answer must be that the three carpels are connate. That's a simpler explanation only in the sense that fewer parts are involved. Further, the role of each carpel in the resulting structures of the syncarpous gynoecium is left up to the reader to guess (does one form the style and stigma, and the other two make up the ovary?), and the reader is not given any no coherent way to interpret syncarpous gynoecia or to distinguish monocarpellate from syncarpous gynoecia, because the structures of a syncarpous gynoecium aren't traced in any way to their origin from connation of carpels.
I think you're basically advocating the pistil view of the gynoecium (but shoehorning it into carpellate terminology; as I mentioned before, the earlier wording of this article "each structure in a gynoecium, whether it consists of a lone carpel or multiple fused carpels" is simply a way of saying "pistil" in terms of carpels; if we mean "pistil", we should just say "pistil"). The gynoecium has one or more units, each with an ovary, style(s), and stigma(s). The ovary may or may not be divided into locules, may or may not have multiple lines of placentation, etc. This view gives a straightforward, non-evolutionary description of the structure of the gynoecium in which the derivation of the structures is ignored (which seems to be precisely what you want: "I think this is a question of terminology not evolution"). That is why, personally, I prefer the carpel view of the gynoecium, the purpose of which is to describe the gynoecium in evolutionary terms, i.e., in terms of ancestral building-blocks and their subsequent modification. I think it is reasonable to also present a view of the gynoecium simply in terms of observable gross morphology without tying that in to the evolutionary derivation of that morphology. However, the appropriate terminology for this purpose is that of pistils, not carpels. The solution may be to have this page very briefly introduce the idea that the gynoecium refers to ovule-related reproductive structures in angiosperms, and split the pistillate and carpellate views into separate pages.Paalexan (talk) 09:08, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
P.S.: You may wish to read hoof and horse_hoof. Paalexan (talk) 09:10, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure you are taking my point here.
I'll try to explain it better. You say I am, "suggesting that we view a syncarpous gynoecium as a set of connate carpels, but not view the parts of a gynoecium as the result of connation of the parts of the constituent carpels."
Yes, more or less. A syncarpous gynoecium is the result (evolutionarily and developmentally) of connation of carpels. The resulting structure, however, is unitary, has its own identity and is a functional unit. This is what the article is about: the gynoecium.
You respond to my concern about a non-botanist wondering, "how can a syncarpous gynoecium of three carpels still have but one ovary, style and stigma?" by saying, "The answer is: the ovaries, styles, and stigmas of the three carpels are connate."
I think this is the wrong way to think about this scientifically, but more importantly for our purposes here, it is the wrong way to explain the complexities of the gynoecium to the general public.
Here is why. The terms ovary, style, stigma are terms that refer to functional regions of the gynoecium. If the gynoecium is a single carpel (or multiple distinct carpels), then they are regions on a carpel. However, in many lineages of angiosperms, connation has occurred. Angios represent an evolutionary mosaic in this regard, with a varying degrees and types of connation. So in some cases, two distinct carpels will partially fuse and it might make sense to say the stigma, style or ovary of one carpel fused with the same "parts" of another carpel. However, in many, many cases, the carpels never had these regions. They are fused (sometimes congenitally) to form what some have been called "hyperorgans". These function as an organ in their own right, and are not simply a connation of other organs. As the Soltises say, the fusion of organs marks, "a transition in evolutionary emphasis from single organs to compound structures as units or modules." These hyperorgans such as sympetalous corollas and syncarpous gynoecia are very important in floral evolution and diversification. So if three carpels fuse into a syncarpous gynoecium, then the syncarpous gynoecium is now the structure with an ovary, stigma and style. The functional parts, like a locule, ovary or stigma are shared by the constituent carpels. Morphogenetically, a syncarpous gynoecium and a carpel can be similar. In fact, the genetics of, for example, style formation through the action of a group of transcription factors (NGA family) has been shown to result in a style forming at the tip of a developing gynoecium (in Arabidopsis) and thus the style and presumably stigma are initiated and developed as structures of a gynoecium, not as a fusion of separate carpel structures.
There are other reasons for emphasizing gynoecia rather than carpels. For one, it is not yet certain what a carpel is or how it makes up a syncarpous gynoecium. For example, it is common to define carpel as a modified megasporophyll. But it is not yet certain if all gynoecia are composed of modified megasporophylls, and, for example, if the "mostly male" hypothesis of floral evolution is accurate, it may be that this is not true. Thus the simple explanation that a gynoecium is composed of carpels which are modified megasporophylls may be inaccurate. If we focus on gynoecia, we can describe the current thinking about gynoecial formation but leave it open to other ideas.
The pistil vs. carpel terms are both evolutionary. Pistil is not necessarily only a gross morphology term. I do like the term pistil as a name for a syncarpous gynoecium. It used to be (e.g. Gifford and Foster) that a structure that developed from a single primordium was a carpel and a structure that developed from more than one primordium was a pistil. Sadly, this no longer seems to be the rule. So we are stuck with two sets of terms.
In terms of this page, I would advocate:
  • keeping the focus on gynoecia as unitary, functional units
  • adding gynophore as a region of the gynoecium (and carpel); there appears to be a genetic basis for the gynophore as a fundamental region of these structures
  • describing in a new section how to interpret a syncarpous gynoecium (e.g. clues to figure out how many carpels are involved)
  • adding diagrams that show various patterns of connation, such as 1 stigma/style with 2 ovaries, 1 ovary with multiple styles/stigmas, 1 ovary with 1 style with multiple stigmas, etc.
  • adding discussion of modified gynoecia such as the gymnostemium of apocynaceae, orchidaceae, aritolochiaceae, etc.), hypanthial ovary, etc.
  • better discussion of gynoecium (and carpel) developmentMichaplot (talk) 05:29, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

So what is a carpel?[edit]

I came here as a complete novice, redirected from "carpel", and was disappointed to not find a definition of carpel. Would somebody please include one in the introductory paragraph? From glancing through the discussions above I see that there are particular details that lead to all kinds of questions that botanists might argue over, but a novice needs a single-sentence definition to start from. You could use "typically" or "in flowering plants" to work around exceptions. Thefreedictionary.com says a carpel is "One of the structural units of a pistil, representing a modified, ovule-bearing leaf". Here is a set of definitions (undoubtedly wrong) to help motivate someone to start writing.

  1. A gynoecium is the female portion of a flower, comprising one or more carpels.
  2. A carpel is the female reproductive organ in a flower, comprising an ovary, a style, and a stigma. A single flower can have more than one carpel.
  3. In flowers with a single carpel the word pistil is synonymous with gynoecium and carpel. In flowers whose gynoecium comprises multiple carpels pistil can refer either to one of the individual carpels or, if the carpels are fused, to the entire gynoecium. IOLJeff (talk) 14:19, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Interesting point. Perhaps carpel should be more explicitly defined for non-botanists early in the article. I will take a crack at it.Michaplot (talk) 22:27, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to remove the category "Needing attention"[edit]

I have read the article and definitions compared to a botany textbook Vascular Plant Families by James Smith, Jr. Seems OK to me. I suggest the category "needing attention" be removed. --JayaJune (talk) 21:03, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. Article could be expanded further, but so could many other Wikipedia articles. No need to single this out for special attention. Plantdrew (talk) 04:55, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Um... This is a high importance article. I find myself regularly linking to it when writing about plants. Yet it's still confused and confusing.
  • One problem is that, as Mauseth, says "to understand flower structure, one must first understand the plant life cycle" but this isn't made clear, and the article introduces terms like "megaspore" or "gametophyte" without any reference to alternation of generations.
  • Another problem is that "carpel" is used by botanists both to describe the anatomy of the flower as it is and as to describe the anatomy as it is supposed to have developed or evolved, but this isn't made clear (or at least I don't think it is).
  • Ultimately the problem may be that the term "carpel" just is confused. In monocarpous or apocarpous flowers, it's ok to say that "carpel = ovary + style + stigma" (as the article does in several places), but what about the majority of flowers that are syncarpous and are described as having a single multilocular ovary? Here the only thing that corresponds to a "carpel" is #2 of three definitions in Beentje's The Kew Plant Glossary, namely "one of the cells or locules of the syncarpous ovary". So in monocarpous or apocarpous flowers, ovaries are parts of carpels, but in syncarpous flowers, carpels are parts of ovaries (and both of these statements can be attributed to reliable sources).
So the article definitely still needs attention, although flagging it as such may not be worthwhile. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:02, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
I took the plunge and removed the 5 year old tag, it was not really helping --Michael Goodyear (talk) 22:00, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree the tag wasn't helpful, but equally the article does need attention, preferably from someone with a botany background. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:06, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Link to androecium[edit]

@Sminthopsis84 and FamAD123: in my view, the problem you were having between you over the link to "androecium" is that it redirected incorrectly. As per the Kew Plant Glossary "androecium, a collective term for the male sexual organs, the stamens" and other sources, "androecium" is used for angiosperms and not just for cryptogams as redirecting it to Antheridium implied. Ideally there should be an article at Androecium, parallel to this one; until then it would be better redirected to Stamen, which I have done. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:13, 21 October 2016 (UTC)