Hermaphroditic Plant

Definition - What does Hermaphroditic Plant mean?

A hermaphroditic plant is any plant that has both male and female reproductive organs. These may be located on separate flowers on the same plant or within the same flower.

Some hermaphroditic plants can produce offspring that are male-only, female-only, or both. Since in nature plants are not mobile, reproduction by hermaphroditism is sometimes the only way for a species to survive.

This trait or ability of a plant to use only the pollen it has produced also allows a plant to ration its energy stores as it does not require any or only a small amount of help from other biotic or abiotic factors such as producing large, showy flowers or producing fragrances as attractants.

Hydrolife explains Hermaphroditic Plant

Hermaphroditic plants have generally evolved as a response to environmental factors. Even though some plants have this reproductive advantage, they do not always “choose” to take advantage of it owing to the sometimes negative effects of inbreeding on various plant traits.

Hermaphroditic plants that can reproduce sexually with another plant will often do so to achieve the greatest trait diversity.

Some breeders will intentionally choose hermaphroditic plants with desirable traits in an effort to reproduce plants with the same traits as the parent plant. This does not always work as well as intended, depending on the plant’s genotype.

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