Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Free Carpels

Gynoecium - a guide to floral structure

Single flower with multiple free carpels

The flowers of most species have a single ovary. The flowers of some species have two or more free carpels (and thus free ovaries) per flower. This arrangement characterises the Crassulaceae with 4 or 5 free carpels and the Ranunculaceae usually with 5 to numerous free carpels. In a floral formula this is expressed as G 4-5 and G 5-∞, respectively.

Free CarpelsFree Carpels

Illustration from Clarke, I. & Lee, H. (2003) Name that Flower, Melbourne University Press, Victoria.