Dioecious Plants: What They Are and Examples - Summary

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The basis of the evolution of plants is given, mainly, in their inability to move by themselves. For this reason, they have developed over time a series of mechanisms based on reproduction in order to guarantee the survival of the species itself. As a result we can differentiate within the kingdom Plantae, monoecious and dioecious plants. In the case of dioecious plants, which are the ones that will occupy this Green Ecologist article, we are talking about plants capable of forming two gametes in the same individual. Here we will talk about what are dioecious plants and examples of these, their main characteristics and their difference from monoecious ones. You will be surprised to see that many of them are familiar to you, especially because of their rich fruits. Would you like to expand your botanical knowledge? So, we invite you to continue reading and learning with us.

What are dioecious plants and their characteristics

Dioecious plants belong to the group of angiosperms and are mainly characterized by having male flowers or female flowers. By this we mean that each individual has a type of flower specifically, not the two sexes together. In fact, the term dioecious, which comes from the Greek, literally means two houses. Hence, it is often used in botanical terms to refer to specimens with flowers and seeds whose sex is divided into different individuals. This does not mean that within dioecious plants there is no division of dicotyledonous or monocotyledonous plants.

In the same way, we must also remember that within angiosperm plants we can also find monoecious plants, those that have male and female flowers on the same foot, and with hermaphrodite flowers, that is, those that include female and male gametes in the same. flower.

Dioecious plants cannot self-pollinate, so they cannot produce fertile seeds on their own. Its only way is cross-pollination, which must be carried out thanks to an external agent. Charles Darwin himself conducted a study in 1876 where he confirmed that dioecious plants have a reproductive advantage over other plants. This advantage resides in its method of reproduction that is only carried out by means of Cross pollination, thus ensuring an increase in variability. On the contrary, its greatest disadvantage is also found in its reproductive aspect, where almost half of the population of plants with male flowers does not produce seeds, which is why they have a greater difficulty in propagation and dispersal. Other studies relate the evolution of dioecious plants with their distribution, especially since they are mostly plants from tropical environments. They are also related to the formation of fresh fruits, as they have in most cases, so that they can be transported by animals to more remote areas. It is even related that many of the dioecious plants are found in coastal areas to increase their pollination and distribution thanks to climatic agents or through the sea.

Examples of dioecious plants

Now that you know the main characteristics of dioecious planes, we are going to make a dioecious plant list so you can identify them more easily. You will be surprised to recognize many of them, especially because they are grown for economic purposes, either for consumption or for pharmaceuticals.

  • Delicious actinidia or kiwi
  • Actinidia kolomikta or multi-colored kiwi
  • Cannabis sativa or marijuana
  • Celastrus scandens or false dulcamara
  • Comptonia peregrina or sweet fern
  • Cycas revoluta or false palm tree
  • Fraxinus americana or American white ash
  • Ginkgo biloba or ginkgo
  • Morus alba or white mulberry
  • Myrica pensylvanica or northern bayberry
  • Nyssa sylvatica or tupelo
  • Persea americana or avocado
  • Pimenta dioica or allspice
  • Pistacia vera or pistachio
  • Populus tremuloides or aspen
  • Phoenix dactylifera or date palm
  • Salix discolor or goat willow

Differences between dioecious and monoecious plants

These are the differences between these two types of plants:

  • The main difference between dioecious and monoecious plants is that the flowers, even though they are unisexual, are found on different feet. Monoecious count these imperfect flowers in the same individual.
  • Dioecious plants only produce a single type of gamete, male or female, per individual. This means that the reproductive organs of this plant can only be male or female, depending on the type of gametes that are generated, but not both in any case. In the case of monoecious plants, they have the types of gametes regardless of whether these are hermaphrodite or unisexual flowers.
  • Dioecious plants cannot perform autogamy, since they do not have male and female flowers on the same individual. In their case, the only feasible breeding system is xenogamy or cross pollination.
  • Some monoecious plants have developed a series of methods to avoid self-fertilization, with this, as with dioecious plants, they favor the possibility of greater genetic diversity, strengthening the survival of the species itself.

In this other summary you can learn more about monoecious plants: what they are, characteristics and examples.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dioecious plants: what they are and examples, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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