Why do flowers have fragrance?

Whenever we pass through a garden during the spring season, the fragrance of flowers enchants us. Nature has endowed flowers with beauty, attractive colours, nectar and fragrance. Insects and flies get attracted to flowers and sit on them, and when they fly off, they carry with them the pollen grains to other flowers. This dispersing of pollen grains, helps in cross-pollination of flowers, as a result of which, seeds are produced. In this way, plants and trees multiply on their own. Different flowers contain different oils, which give them a specific fragrance. As these oils gradually keep on evaporating, the fragrance of the flowers spreads in the air. In fact, perfumes are prepared from the oils extracted from these flowers. There are various processes of making perfumes. In one process, flowers are kept in a pot through which steam is passed. The outgoing steam, takes out the oil, which is then passed through water. The oil brought out by the steam starts floating on water. This is then separated. There are other methods too. France produces the maximum amount of perfumes. It has been found that one ounce of rose perfume is extracted from 110 of rose flowers. Flowers like rose, pandarus, lavender, jasmine, etc., are generally used for making perfumes. The anthocyanin pigment is responsible for producing red, blue and violet colours. The plastid pigment causes other colours. These pigments remain mixed in the juice of the flowers. The presence of chlorophyll and carotene make some flowers green. There are at least 200,000 kinds of flowers, ranging in size from the microscopic duckweed blossom with a diameter of 0.4 millimetre to the tropical Rafflesia with a diameter of 90 centimetres.

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