The stamen (plural stamina or stamens) is the male reproductive organ of a flower. Each stamen generally has a stalk called the filament and, on top of the filament, an anther. The pollen is set free by the opening (dehiscence) of the anther, generally by means of longitudinal slits, but sometimes by pores, as in the heath family (Ericaceae), or by valves. It is then dropped, or carried by some external agent — wind, water or some member of the animal kingdom — onto the receptive surface of the carpel of the same or another flower, which is thus pollinated. It is the part that contains the sperm cells.
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