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Name: Jacqueline
Status: student
Grade: K-3
Location: CO
Country: N/A
Date: 10/12/2005


Question:
Are plants boys or girls? Do you have any pictures of girls plants or boy plants?


Replies:
Hi Jacqueline:

See, the vegetable that is the plants are similar to the animals concerning reproduction. To have babies that is for them to generate another one, it is necessary to have a female part (that you call girl) and a male part (boy). What happens many times is that both the female and the male organs are located in the same plant in different places. We call that the reproductive male system and the reproductive female system. In other plants there are the female plant and the male plant different and separated. In any case it is necessary that the male fertilize the female that is some part of them to get together for another one to "born" and grow.

Usually the flowers are the place where the reproductive systems are. The insects, the birds, even the wind help the reproduction putting together the male and the female parts.

This happens in many plants. But there are some much more simpler than that.

Thanks for asking NEWTON!

Mabel
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)


Some types (species) of plants have separate "boy" (male) flowers and "girl" (female) flowers.

Willow (Salix) trees have separate male and female flowers.

Pine trees have separate male flowers and female fruiting cones:

http://members.tripod.com/qldscienceteachers/photos/plants/
conifers/female_and_male_cones.jpg

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/graphics/taxonomy/plants/spermatophyta
/gymnosperms/other%20pines/JSC%209805&06%20male%20&%20female%20
pine%20cones%202.JPG

Some plants like the Gingko from China have trees with all male flowers or all female flowers and fruits.

Anthony Brach Ph.D.


Well, sometimes plants are both boys and girls at the same time! The girl/boy part of a plant is the flower. By the way, flowers aren't always pretty. Flowers are pretty to attract bees and birds to the flower to get them to spread their pollen. If the pollen is spread by the wind instead, the flower doesn't have to be pretty. But any way-The "girl" part of a flower is in the center and sticks up. It is called the pistil. It is sticky and pollen sticks to it. The boy parts are around the pistil and are called the stamens. They produce the pollen. The pollen from one flower goes to land on the pistil of a different flower. The pollen helps the flower produce a fruit which contains seeds. The seeds are like the "babies" of the plant. There are some types of plants that have their girl parts on one flower and the boy parts on a different flower. You can tell which is which because the girl flower will have only a pistil and the boy flower will have only the stamens. You can go to google.com and search for an image of a flower and see the parts for yourself!

Van Hoeck



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