What is a sepal? Structure and functions

What is a sepal? Why is it called that? The flower on the plants ripens in the environment of green leaves. When opening the bud they become an inconspicuous support for the petals. Sepals are often green (leafy), but there are exceptions (petals). So, for example, in orchids after the beginning of flowering, they take the shades of the flower, turning into sepals-petals. They are the same with a calf and anemone. The totality of sepals forms a calyx.

To understand what sepals are, you needto study their origin. According to the features of the structure, they resemble top vegetative leaves. Some plants clearly see a smooth transition from them to sepals. There are a number of colors in which there are no such formations at all, for example, in anemones.

Functions of sepals

Understanding what sepal is, comes after determining its value for a flower. This part of the flower performs important functions for the plant.

what is the sepal

  1. Form the protection of a flower that has not yet bloomed and the fetus that has already formed.

  2. If sepals have a green color, then like all leaves, they perform the process of photosynthesis, that is, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

  3. Performs a supporting function for the flower halo.


Consider what is a sepal according to its structure. It consists of two parts: parenchyma (mesophyll and conductive bundles, passing in loose tissue) and epidermis (cover layer).

There are several types of sepals, depending on the location of leaves in the calyx.


  1. When the leaves are located separately from each other. For example, a cherry or a cabbage.

  2. Sepals or completely fused, or partially. For example, potatoes or peas. They are slightly different in structure, having a cup in the form of a funnel, a bell or a tube from the fused sheets. For example, in Kalanchoe.

  3. Some sepals are located in two separate circles. For example, a mallow or raspberry.

  4. Two-sided cup is divided into two unequal parts, like sage.

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