Online Encyclopedia

PISTIL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 653 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PISTIL, a term in botany for the female or seed-bearing organ of a flower (q.v.). The Lat. pistillum (diminutive from pinsere, pistum, to pound), a pestle, a club-headed instrument used for crushing or braying substances in a mortar (q.v.), was taken as the name for this organ from its similarity in shape, and thence adapted in Fr. pistil about the middle of the 18th century. In its complete form a pistil consists of three parts—ovary, at the base, containing the bodies which become seeds, style (Gr. vriiXos, pillar), and stigma (Gr. aTlyµa, mark, vrtTeL), to brand), the part which in impregnation receives the pollen.
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