|the female reproductive organ of flowering plants, consisting of an ovary, style (sometimes absent), and stigma. The carpels are separate or fused to form a single pistil|
|[C19: from New Latin carpellum, from Greek karpos fruit]|
|carpel (kär'pəl) Pronunciation Key
One of the individual female reproductive organs in a flower. A carpel is composed of an ovary, a style, and a stigma, although some flowers have carpels without a distinct style. In origin, carpels are leaves (megasporophylls) that have evolved to enclose the ovules. The term pistil is sometimes used to refer to a single carpel or to several carpels fused together. See more at flower.