The structure that bears and encloses the ovules in flowering plants. It normally comprises the *ovary
, and *stigma
. The typical enclosed carpel of the angiosperms has probably evolved from an open carpel bearing megasporangia on the margins, and is thought by many to be homologous with the megasporophyll of pteridophytes and the ovuliferous scale of gymnosperms. In more primitive angiosperms there are often large numbers of unfused carpels in the gynoecium. In advanced forms the number of carpels is reduced and they tend to be fused and inserted asymmetrically.