Dioecious Plant

Last Updated: January 30, 2017

Definition - What does Dioecious Plant mean?

A dioecious plant is one where the male and female reproductive systems occur on separate plants.

While both plants produce flowers, one plant has the male reproductive parts and the other plant has the female parts. This is unlike a monoecious plant, which has both male and female flowers.

Some knowledge of which plants are dioecious is important to the horticulturalist when planning a landscape or garden, because when purchasing something such as holly, bittersweet, blueberries, or asparagus that are dioecious, one must purchase both male and female plants if they are going to have any fruit.

MaximumYield explains Dioecious Plant

A dioecious plant requires two separate plants (a male and a female) to successfully pollinate, and only the female plant bears the fruit. Holly is an example of a dioecious plant, and in this case one male plant may pollinate nine or ten female plants.

Some fruit trees are also dioecious, requiring another tree for the pollination and only the female tree bears the fruit. Blueberries are dioecious, and as with holly one male plant may pollinate many female plants.

Most fruit bearing dioecious plants are clearly labeled and sexed as such at the nursery. In the case of blueberries this is indicated by the name; “blue girl” is the female and “blue boy” is the male.

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