Horticulture in the Desert

a place to share and learn about plants in the Sonoran Desert

Botany Basics – Plant Sex

Posted by VT Jenny on September 16, 2008

Female plant anatomy – Pistil / Pistillate – which is made up of….
Ovary – where the magic happens, when you eat a fruit you’re eating a fertilized ovary
Style – part between the ovary and stigma
Stigma – The tip of the style, receives the pollen, often has a bit of nector to entice pollinator

Male Plant Parts – Stamen / Staminate
Anther – holds the pollen
Filament – holds up the anther

Perfect Flowers – bisexual, have both male and female parts in one flower
Imperfect Flowers – either male or female (flowers can be on one plant or on separate plants)

Monoecious – both male and female flowers on 1 plant, same plant
Dioecious – male and female flowers are on 2 plants, separate plants
Synoecious – male and female parts contained in single perfect flower on 1 plant.
**one house, two houses and same house (room)**

Outcrossing Mechanisims – to prevent close relatives from having offspring (why you don’t marry your cousin)
*Different flowering times – Monoecious plants may have male and female flowers bloom at separate time
*Dioecious plants have seperated male and female flowers to different plants
*Protandry-differential development of flower parts
*Self-incompatibility – the plant cannot fertilize itself with its own pollen

Cross-pollination – pollen exchanged between two or more plants
* naturally occurring in some species
* used to create species hybrids with desirable trait
* On a single plant, nown as ‘selfing’

Desert Adaptations of Flowers
* Night – flowerin
* Rainfall- triggered
* Yellow color
* Short-lived

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