mansamusa

Are Fruits & Vegetables Genderless?

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i have been told that certain fruits and vegetables are male/female is there any truth to this?

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Some are, some are not, most flowering plants, and fruits and vegetable are flowering plants, have both male and female flowers. Sometimes on the same plant and sometimes on separate plants and sometimes the male and female parts are in the same flower...

Edited by Moontanman
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If you are referring to individual fruits (e.g. an apple) and vegetables, then I would say that it does not make sense to categorize them as male or female. Would you categorize an arm as a 'female' if it came from a woman?

 

If you are referring to plants and trees, then yes, as Moontanman said some are male, some are female, some are both.

 

Also note that a plant part that is a result of a fertilized flower (e.g. apple, pea, green bean, etc.) is a fruit.

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The edible fig tree can be male or female, and its flowers are of three different sexes, depending on the tree's sex.

 

Trees do not grow and reproduce like humans, and are extremely varied, so any transposition would lead to wrong conclusions.

 

Male and female "fruits" are reported to exist on some pepper trees... There, in an agriculture thesis

http://projets.cirad.fr/content/download/4787/29542/file/Marion%2520Avril-Ethiopie.pdf

but are these really fruits, or rather some edible flower? In pine trees the so-called "fruits" are not fruits.

 

To botanists, apples, pears, quinces... are not fruits but false fruits, as they don't form from the flower.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_fruit

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A fruit, botanically defined, is a matured ovary. So, in this sense, a fruit ( a structure unique to the flowering plants), can be said to be "female".

 

Flowers consist of sterile (vegetative) and fertile parts. The reproductive assets are male and female, respectively the stamens and the carpels. The stamens---the pollen-bearing parts, collectively called the androecium. (A telling word, translating roughly to "House of Man") . Reciprocally, the carpels---the ovule bearing parts of the flower are collectively referred to as the gynoecium or "house of woman". Of course, there are variations in flower structure, not all are bi-sexual.

 

As the previous comments suggested, plants can be bi or uni-sexual. The difficulty in assigning gender arises out of the complexity of plant life cycles.

 

Cycas revoluta, a species of gymnosperm, and a common decorative plant in the States (often called Sago Palms), is dioecious. In other words, There are male sago palms and female sago palms. This is true also of the genus Zamia. Sexual morphologies aren't as neatly organized in plants as they are in the majority of animal species.

 

http://www.pacsoa.org.au/cycads/Cycas/revoluta05.jpg

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Cycas_revoluta_female_cone01.jpg

Edited by CirclesAndDots
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A fruit, botanically defined, is a matured ovary. So, in this sense, a fruit ( a structure unique to the flowering plants), can be said to be "female".

 

Flowers consist of sterile (vegetative) and fertile parts. The reproductive assets are male and female, respectively the stamens and the carpels. The stamens---the pollen-bearing parts, collectively called the androecium. (A telling word, translating roughly to "House of Man") . Reciprocally, the carpels---the ovule bearing parts of the flower are collectively referred to as the gynoecium or "house of woman". Of course, there are variations in flower structure, not all are bi-sexual.

 

As the previous comments suggested, plants can be bi or uni-sexual. The difficulty in assigning gender arises out of the complexity of plant life cycles.

 

Cycas revoluta, a species of gymnosperm, and a common decorative plant in the States (often called Sago Palms), is dioecious. In other words, There are male sago palms and female sago palms. This is true also of the genus Zamia. Sexual morphologies aren't as neatly organized in plants as they are in the majority of animal species.

 

http://www.pacsoa.org.au/cycads/Cycas/revoluta05.jpg

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Cycas_revoluta_female_cone01.jpg

 

 

This is not as cut and dried as you suggest, in fact a great many animals have somewhat less than determinant sexuality. Among fish is is quite common for males to become females and for males to switch to females. some change genders simply due to dominance and in some animals both genders are present in one individual. While what you suggest is true of mammals it is not true of all or even most other animals if you include animals in the scientific sense...

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"Majority" I will concede is a slippery term to use in biology. My original aim was to draw attention to sexual macro-structures. There's a tradition of laymen bias (I lump myself into that category) to assign gender according to gross human characteristics. We scan an organism looking for something penis-like or vagina-esque to determine if said thing is conventionally male or female. Of course sexuality isn't always that familiar, especially in plants and it isn't always fixed, as you mentioned with non-mammalian vertebrates. Indeed, Hermaphrodites are quite common in nature.

Edited by CirclesAndDots
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