Are all Flowers Bisexual with Both Male and Female Reproductive Parts and Capable of Playing Either Role in Reproduction?

No, not all flowers are Bisexual with Both Male and Female Reproductive Parts and Capable of Playing Either Role in Reproduction.

Here’s a quick flower primer: There are actually three types of flowers.

The “perfect” flower, also known as a Bisexual flower, which is what you’re familiar with when it comes to plant reproduction, is the first type. It has male and female reproductive organs, and both are functional. Pollen from the stamen makes its way to the pistil of another flower, and reproduction occurs.

The second type of flower is also called “perfect,” but it has a glitch. There are both male and female parts, but only one participates in reproduction.

For instance, one may have a stamen (male), but only the pistil (female) is functional in reproduction; other flowers in the same bed will be the reverse, both parts are present, but only the stamen works.

Sunflowers fall into this category, as well as many other ornamental flowers with large, showy blooms.

Finally, there’s what’s called the “imperfect” flower. It has only the male or female reproductive part, not both. Many trees’ flowers belong to this group.

The problem with imperfect flowers is that only the female flowers produce fruit or seeds; a plant with only male flowers is barren.

Still, breeders have been able to work with imperfect flower plants such as cucumbers, creating hybrids that have an abundance of fruit-producing female flowers and only a couple of male flowers on each plant.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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