Uses of Flowers | To Humans, Plants and Environment

There are many uses of flowers in daily life like

  1. Food production
  2. Source of honey
  3. Source of medicine
  4. Help in pollination and crop yield
  5. Give beauty to the surroundings
  6. Provide Perfumes and scents
  7. Decoration
  8. To prepare dyes
  9. Insect repellents
  10. Support breeding

Flowers are the most beautiful structures on the surface of plants.

They are the organs for sexual reproduction of plants.

They are formed from a bud, and on fertilization they are converted into fruits. 

Uses of flowers to man

Man has been fascinated with their fragrance, color, beauty, and feel since ancient times.

For the man, it is a symbol of love, holiness, and also a good omen. 

1. Source of food

All the vegetarian food materials we consume are products of flowers.

But there are some which we directly consume as foods. 

Examples of edible flowers include cauliflower, rose, calendula  etc.

2. Source of honey

Honey is formed by the honey bees from the nectar which is collected from the nectarines.

It is a sweet liquid deposited into the honeycombs. These honeycombs are filled with honey by the worker honey bees.

Honey bees visit the flowers, suck up the nectar and deposit it in the comb. The nectar undergoes changes in the bee and is released as honey.Honey bee collecting honey

This honey is used for various purposes like in medicine preparation, food, sweetening agents.

Due to its contents like phenols and antioxidants, it is used for health purposes.

3. Source of medicine

Some of them posses medicinal properties useful in healthcare.

Uses of flowers-Vinca Anti cancer drug
Vinca roseus plant

The flowers of the plant vinca roseus has an an alkaloid vincristine which has anticancer properties. It is used for the treatment of breast cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma etc.

Besides, medicine like atropine, Hyoscyamus, essential oils like eugenol, menthol is obtained from flowers.

Plant flowerMedicinal moleculeMedicinal Uses
Vinca roseaVincristine, vinblsatineFor cancers
DaturascopolamineAnticholinergic drugs for spam relief
Clove budEugenolDental analgesia, antioxidant
HenbaneHyoscine To relieve muscle spasm.
MenthamentholRubefacient, Removes gas by belching.

4. Perfumes and scent

Flowers have some or other sort of odor. But most plants have flowers with fragrance.

These flower parts like the petals and sepals are used to extract the fragrance in the form of essential oils.

These essential oils are a mixture of volatile oils.

They can be extracted by the solvent extraction method or by steam distillation, Supercritical fluid extraction, ultrasound methods, etc.   

Examples include rose, jasmine, marigold, Hollyhock, etc.

5. Decoration

Potted flowers are widely used for decoration of homes.

They are also used in places of worship, marriage ceremonies, birthday parties, for greetings etc. 

Their attractiveness, fragrance, and color give them a prominent place in human life.

6. Dyes and colorsaffron color

The petals and other parts are also a source of natural dyes.

Unlike synthetic dyes, these are less harmful for regular use.

More example of dye from different plant in the table below

Dye / ColorFlower of Plant
Red / purpleHibiscus
Pink Rose
Lilac Blooms

7. Insect repellents

Insect repellents have one of the biggest markets. We need insect repellents to keep mosquitoes, cockroaches, houseflies away.

Synthetic insecticides like organophosphorus poisons have a lethal effect on humans and other animals.

Instead, a natural insect repellant like pyrethrin is used. This pyrethrin is obtained from the plants of Chrysanthemum Cinerariaefolium.

It has a toxic effect on the respiratory system of insects. Thus, when used at homes or workplaces, we humans are spared of insects bite.

Uses to plants.

For Sexual reproduction by pollination

The main use is to help in sexual reproduction by producing pollen grain as male gametes. 

This pollen is carried off by the wind, animals, or even water.

Once they reach another flower, the pollen enters the female organ and forms a zygote.

This zygote forms an embryo and then converts into a fruit. These fruits contain seeds that can grow into a new plant when it reaches the soil.

So, a flower facilitates sexual reproduction and thereby helps in plant propagation.

Even in agriculture, artificial pollination helps in higher yield. Hence, male and female plants are given special importance during cultivation.

Uses to Animals and Environment

They help in breeding and support the food cycle in an ecosystem.

9. For breeding of Insects and Birds

Flowers provide food in the form of nectar. So, their growth is good for insects, larvae, and also birds.

Birds lay eggs and hatch them to give birth to young ones. These young ones need food to grow.

The mother bird tries to fetch some insects roaming around. These insects roaming around in search of nectar are caught for feed.

So, we can notice that birds lay eggs when there is a chance for an abundance of insects and larvae.

This, in turn, is dependent on the growth of flowers on the plant. On the whole, the plants support breeding by producing flowers.

10. Beauty to nature

The presence of blooms adds natural beauty to the environment around them. They attract all sorts of animals like birds, cattle, and even men.

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