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Plant Sex

Posted by joanie_pomseed 8 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 2, 10 at 22:12

I should have posted this last month. :) Ah, well...

1. What determines the sex of a plant? (I'm sure this answer differs from one class to another.)
2. Is it right to say that hollies are frustrated hermaphrodites, since they have both male and female organs but only one set works?
3. Do male papayas produce hermaphrodite flowers when no females are nearby?
4. Is it true that mamoncillo trees flower only in the presence of the opposite sex?
5. Is it true that some plants exhibit more horizontal growth (e.g., bushing out and suckering) when fewer plants of the opposite sex are near?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plant Sex

The only one I can speak to is #3, and that on mighty slim evidence. I once grew 8 papaya seedlings in a large greenhouse. 3 had only female flowers, 4 had only male, and two had only hermaphrodites. Got lots of fruit of variable quality, all with lots of seeds, during that brief "mini-experiment". That experience gave me the impression that sex in papayas, at least, was genetically determined.

Kevin : )


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RE: Plant Sex

3 + 4 + 2 = 9

What happened? Did one die?


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RE: Plant Sex

Lawsy! How did I manage to get through college without knowing how to add or proofread?!

Sorry, after I checked my "mental records", it was only 3 males. One of the hazards of having an almost eidetic memory, and 10 years difference in time.

Sigh, I guess you might want to wait for a little more documentation.
Kevin : /


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RE: Plant Sex

I was thinking more about the ones that have male flowers one season and hermaphrodite flowers the next. Meilie had one, I think. These two articles appear to have a common source that says it's probably the weather, and I suppose that makes more sense, because I've also read that hermaphrodite papayas take on masculine or feminine features depending on weather conditions.

I still haven't met anyone who actually tried cutting the head off a male papaya or driving metal nails through the trunk to cause a sex change. Does anyone here know if that actually works?


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RE: Plant Sex

I am trying to plant some papaya seeds and a relative told me that you can identify the sex of the seeds by placing them in water. Male seeds float and the female seeds sink. I did this and about 90% of the seeds stayed floating. This didn't seem right that so many seeds floated.

Having read some of the posts here, some people say to leave them in water for 24hrs and then remove the floating seeds. What they didn't mention is whether this is because the floating seeds are males or other wise.

If anyone can shed some light on this matter it'd be greatly appreciated


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RE: Plant Sex

"I am trying to plant some papaya seeds and a relative told me that you can identify the sex of the seeds by placing them in water. Male seeds float and the female seeds sink. I did this and about 90% of the seeds stayed floating. This didn't seem right that so many seeds floated."

I can shed light on that one...either the relative was pulling your leg or just didn't know what they were talking about.


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