Friday, October 2, 2009

How to Tell Girls from Boys

Most plants are bisexual, containing both male (stamens) and female (pistil) parts. Sometimes the stamens and pistil are together in the same flower and sometimes there are separate male and female flowers on the same plant. Either way, these are called monoecious, from the Greek "one household".



However, some plants still depend on the wind to pollinate them and are called dioecious, that is, having separate male and female plants. Typically they do not have petals and they make a lot of pollen. This is our native Cardinal Feather flower, Acalypha radians, which is dioecious. It is always a favorite on my botanical tours.




This is also Cardinal Feather flower.
 

Sometimes it doesn't take a botanist to tell which flowers are the girls and which are the boys. Just sayin'.

8 comments:

Vicki ~ FL said...

You're bad but I did LOL on that last statement and the flower that goes along with it! I do like the Cardinal Feather flower though.

Tes said...

Those are good shots! Vibrant and beautiful.

Jemm said...

So, you're a plant person too! We've got a lot in common. I majored in Horticulture.

Kathy said...

Cardinal Feather flower...beautiful name...beautiful flower!!! xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Dana and Daisy said...

Okay this reminds me of a joke my MOTHER told me!

Do you know how to tell the male holly from the female Holly?

The male holly has the little balls on them! lol!
(I don't even know if that is true!)

flowerweaver said...

Dana & Daisy--yes Holly is also dioecious, but it's the females that have the balls (berries)!

Ebie said...

I am glad for this post Sage. I never knew that plants have a gender (hahaha, never paid attention in my class!!!) I learned this when the docent at the Huntington Gardens was pointing to the male and female ginko biloba tree.
Your shots are beautiful!

Maria Berg said...

The second one I do recognize it from when I was working in New Zealand.

And yes for fun I do jewelry.
You mad me happy by comming back.
/MB

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