The science of botany is a whole world. It may be that of the same species of plant, all the specimens seem the same to us. But nevertheless, there are male, female and even hermaphrodite plants. Now the big question: How to know if a plant is male or female?
This is a very important question, especially when it comes to farming. To help you, we are going to talk about the sex of plants, how to differentiate the genders and how long it takes for vegetables to sex.
The sex of plants
It is well known that most plants have both sexes. However, there are some specimens whose sexes are separated. That is, either they are feminine or they are masculine. In vertebrates (mammals, reptiles, fish and birds) a fundamental difference has been found between the sex chromosomes of male and female individuals. Females always have the XX chromosomes, while males have the XY chromosomes. These chromosomes have also been sought in plants, but they have only been found in very few species: Silene latifolia, Humulus lupulus, Cannabis sativa, Asparagus officinalis y aceto rumexAmong others.
When it comes to classifying plants according to their sex, we can broadly speak of male, female and hermaphrodites. Nevertheless, the plant world has many varieties, even when it comes to gender. So, in order to be more specific, we are going to explain what types of plants exist according to their sex.
sexual monomorphic plants
In sexually monomorphic plants both male and female organs can be found. It is no more and no less than 75% of all plants known today. Depending on the situation, we can distinguish different types of sexual monomorphic plants:
- Hermaphrodites: Hermaphrodite plants have male and female organs in the same flower. They represent 90% of flowering vegetables, such as the popular roses.
- Monoecious: Monoecious plants have both male and female flowers on the same specimen. They are 5% of flowering plants and many gymnosperms are part of them, such as Pine trees.
- Gynomonoecious: They are male sterile. They have female and hermaphrodite flowers.
- Andromonics: They are female sterile. They have male and hermaphroditic flowers.
sexual polymorphic plants
When we speak of sexually polymorphic plants, we refer to those that They have both male and female specimens. They represent 25% of all vegetables known to humans and, as in the previous ones, there are different types depending on the situation of each species:
- Dioecious: Dioecious plants have specimens of separate sexes. That is, some are masculine and others are feminine. 5% of the flowering plants belong to this group, and also some gymnosperms, such as the Nettles.
- Gynodioecious: Plants belonging to the gynodioecious group have female specimens and also hermaphrodite specimens. A couple of examples for this type would be plants lanceolata plantago y silent vulgar.
- Androdioic: In this case, the plants have some male specimens and some hermaphrodite specimens. However, this type is very rare.
How do I know if I have a male or female plant?
How to know if a plant is male or female is essential for its cultivation, because in some cases only female vegetables are interesting. Generally, in the plant world, half of the seeds are usually male and the other half female. Therefore, only 50% will be really useful for your plantation. Thanks to advances in the genetic knowledge of plants, today it is possible to distinguish males from females of plants.
In order to distinguish between male plants and female plants, we must know which organs are the ones that differentiate them. In the case of male plants, these have pollen-laden stamens in the flowers. Instead, female plants have carpels or eggs that support the pistil. Once the primordia of the floral organs begin to develop, the female organs in the center of the meristem are much smaller in male plants, but not absent.
Instead, in male plants the male organs are much more developed, while in female plants the beginning of the male organs degenerates as the female organs develop.
How long do plants take to sex?
At the time of the development of vegetables, there are two phases they go through:
- Vegetative phase: The specimen grows without being able to differentiate the sex to which it belongs.
- Flowering phase: The specimen stops growing and invests all its energy in producing flowers, thus developing its sexual organs.
Habitually, after six weeks is when some plants begin to show phenotypic traits that can indicate the sex to which they belong even before they have developed their male or female flowers.
I hope this information has been useful to you in finding out how to tell if a plant is male or female.