In some plants this is accomplished by the anthers being just above the stigma, and when the pollen is ripe and the ovule ready, the stigma is found to be covered with a sticky substance. As the falling pollen grains touch the stigma, they are caught in this sticky substance just as surely as flies are caught once they touch a fly paper. But just here one of the most wonderful processes of nature begins. The pollen grain begins, slowly at first, to grow, and in the act it penetrates the outer coat of the stigma with a minute pollen tube.
This slender threadlike tube, carrying with it the male germ, grows straight down through the stigma, into the narrowed style, and through this to the ovule. Once the pollen is caught on the stigma, nothing is so sure of fulfillment as that this male fertilizing stuff will ultimately reach the ovule. For the hitherto virgin ovule this impregnation starts a new phase in life. It means the beginning of the end, but in the process fruit and seed will be developed, and the young bride, already a mother, has triumphantly accomplished that for which she exists.