a bee on a flower

nectar and pollen

Nectar is a sweet substance, produced by some plants to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Bees collect nectar and make it into honey. While collecting the nectar, pollinators accidentally transfer pollen from male flowers to female flowers, or between the male and female parts of flowers that have both.

Pollen is a fine powder of microscopic particles that can fertilise a flower to produce a seed or seeds in the flower’s ovary. Pollen is produced by anthers, the male reproductive organs found in most flowering plants. The pollen needs to be transferred to a flower’s stigma in order to fertilise it. The stigma typically has a hairy and sticky surface, which helps it to capture the pollen particles.

labelled diagram of a flower


5 thoughts on “nectar and pollen”

  1. Hi Skylar. The name’s D’Arcy Vallance. I’m an author of books and videos for learners of English. I originally made the search engine at the top of this page because I often wanted to know the difference between similar words and I found that dictionaries don’t always help. I hope you found it useful.

  2. very useful, thank you very much. I am a horticultural student and the study notes didn’t clarify the distinction. I guess they assumed we know it already.

  3. Hi D’Arcy Vallance. could you please tell me when you wrote this. I would love to be able to reference you in my lesson plan but cannot find the necessary information.
    thank you

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