(Gr. karpos: fruit) An organ (generally believed to be a modified foliar unit) at the centre of a flower, bearing one or more ovules and having its margins fused together or with other carpels to enclose the ovule(s) in an ovary, and consisting also of a stigma and usually a style. Collectively the stigma, style and ovary; the female reproductive parts of a flower. The carpel number of a compound pistil is determined by counting the number of stigmas, styles, locules, and placentae. the carpel number is indicated by whichever of these parts is found in the greatest number. Each flower may have one carpel (monocarpellary) or many (polycarpellary), either free (apocarpous) or fused together (syncarpous). See also pistil.