A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to affect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing resulting from cross pollination or allow selfing when self pollination occurs. Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization. Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds.
In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to bring beauty to their environment, and also as objects of romance, ritual, religion, medicine and as a source of food.