Hermaphroditic Plant (Hermaphrodite)

Last updated: June 8, 2021

What Does Hermaphroditic Plant (Hermaphrodite) 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.

Since in nature plants are not mobile, reproduction by hermaphroditism is sometimes the only way for a species to survive.

Hermaphroditic plants are largely self-pollinating and true bisexual plants. This is opposed to monoecious plants that have both male and female reproductive capabilities but can’t self-reproduce.

Hermaphroditic cannabis plant.Hermaphroditic cannabis plant.


Maximum Yield Explains Hermaphroditic Plant (Hermaphrodite)

The advantage of many hermaphroditic plants is that they don’t rely on bees or insects in order to reproduce. The pollen is usually driven either by the wind or simple gravity. The pollen forms on the male reproductive system on top and drops to the female portion below. 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.

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.

In other cases, such as cannabis cultivation, hermaphroditic plants are not desirable as pollination and seed production are avoided in order to produce high-quality, seedless flower in the female plants.



Androgynous, Monoclinous, Synoecious, Bi-sexual

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Plant GrowthPlant TypesPlant ScienceCannabis

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