Do Plants Have Genders?

Well, we have come across many posts telling us how we can tell the gender of fruits. Well, that is a myth. However, it brings us to the question of whether plants have genders?

Do plants have gender?

The answer is a yes and a no, as not all plants have genders, but a few do. Most plants produce both pollen and seeds together. However, some plants such as kiwi, cannabis, and willow have individual genders, which means they have plants that make pollen or seeds, but never both. Botanically, such plants are called dioecious trees. However, these plants are generally an exception as most plants tend to produce both male and female flowers. So, it is important to identify the type of plant that you are planting.

Different types of plants

So, let us explore the different types of plants based on their genders –

  • Monoecious Plants
  • Dioecious Plants
  • Hermaphroditic Plants

Monoecious Plants

Monoecious plants tend to have both female and male flowers in the same plant. In flowering plants, these structures are borne together in a single bisexual flower or there may be different flowers, either a male or a female in the same plant. Most of the flowers such as roses, lilies, and tulips are bisexual; wherein the pistil is surrounded by male stamens. Other plants such as birches and corn have unisexual flowers, but both the male and the female plants grow in the same plant.

Dioecious Plants

Dioecious plants are plants that have genders. The name originates from the word ‘dioecy’ which means ‘two households’. The plants with male and female parts are different. It is most common in non-flowering plants. In dioecious plants, there is no chance of inbreeding, and hence the plants are likely to grow better. The best way to identify the gender of such plants is to observe the flowers. Similarly, if the plant is growing berries, the plant is female. Some examples of dioecious plants are dates, asparagus, and juniper.

Hermaphroditic Plants

Most flowering plants are generally hermaphroditic, which means they have both male and female parts together on each flower. These flowers are called bisexual flowers. However, the problem with such plants is inbreeding, which may lead to certain genetic problems in the plants as well as reduced fruit production.

Some hermaphroditic plants such as peach and sour cherry tend to self-pollinate and produce fruits. They are called ‘self-fruitful‘ plants. However, others such as blueberries, apples, and plums generally provide better fruits when there is cross-pollination. They are called ‘self –unfruitful‘ plants. So, it is best to identify the type of plant to ensure that it grows well.

So, we can see that plants don’t have genders but there is an exception for the same in dioecious plants, which do have genders. So, if you want to grow a plant well, it is best to know whether it is monoecious, dioecious, or hermaphroditic. It allows you to provide the required care for your plant and ensure that it grows well.

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