11+ Monoecious Plants Examples: Detailed Explanations


This article discusses Monoecious Plants Examples and Monoecy comprehensively.

Monoecious plants are bisexual in nature, i.e., they have both female and male organs, that bear male(staminate) and female(pistillate, fruit-bearing)flowers, within the same plant. The term monoecious in Greek means one house, suggesting the breeding activity which doesn’t require a pollinator or a different plant.

Take a look at 12+ monoecious plants examples to get the grasp of monoecy:

Monoecy is one of the rare phenomenon that strikes more interest in plant physiology. Hence, let’s dissect its occurrence with detailed explanations from examples of Monoecious Plants.

Castor Bean

The unique feature of this monoecious plant is that the flowers are produced on its stem, which does not have many petals. The female flowers are produced above the male flowers, followed by star-shaped leaves. It processes with mixed pollination, i.e. both insect and wind pollination. The plant is usually grown in warm climates; oil is extracted from the flowers for its medicinal properties. It is also used in manufacturing lubricating oils and paints

  • Scientific name: Ricinus communis
  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
  • Order: Malpighiales
  • Kingdom: Plantae
monoecious plants examples
Castor Bean Plant from Wikimedia Commons

Maize

In this monoecious plant, the male flowers which have the pollen grains are at the top, the wind carries the pollen to the female flowers that are at the bottom of the plant, and that’s how breeding takes place in maize or corn, often fertilized by insects. It can be grown in extreme climates too. Corn is the staple food in the west and is used to feed livestock. The cobs of maize are used as a biomass fuel source, ethanol fuel particularly, which is often found in gasoline, that reduces the number of pollutants emitted from vehicles. Corn starch can also be turned into plastics and adhesives.

  • Scientific name: Zea mays
  • Family: Poaceae
  • Subfamily: Panicoideae
  • Order: Poales
  • Kingdom: Plantae
monoecious plants examples
Maize Flower from Wikimedia Commons

Walnut

Here, the monoecious plant breeds a one-seeded nut, that is edible; the staminate occurs from leafless shoots into little flowers, while the female flowers bloom from leafy shoots and usually in clusters. They are cultivated in a cool climate, with a lot of care. The nuts from the seed are edible and widely consumed, which have high nutritional value. It is used for making walnut oil, in cosmetics, as well as adhesives and explosives. The timber is used to make furniture.

  • Scientific name: Juglans
  • Family: Juglandaceae
  • Order: Fagales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Hazel

In this monoecious plant, both the male and female flowers are produced in spring and can be wind-pollinated or insect-pollinated. The fertilization process starts only after a couple of months of pollination and not instantly. The staminate is yellow, also known as the hazel catkins while the pistillate is red, with the bud only visible. The plant is usually known for its Hazelnut, which is edible and widely consumed like walnuts. It is used in making baskets, boats, and for several agricultural practices.

  • Scientific name: Corylus
  • Family: Betulaceae
  • Order: Fagales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Cucumber

This monoecious vine plant is cultivated in an interesting technique, beehives are stationed next to the agricultural field, so bees can pollinate the flowers. In this case, the male flowers blossom first, and fruits appear in the vines, while the female flowers bear fruits later, which is usually small in size than the male ones. Cucumbers are high in micronutrients and energy and are often relished raw. A fun fact, Cucumbers originated in India, and it has been cultivated for 3,000 years.

  • Scientific name: Cucumis sativus
  • Family: Cucurbitaceae
  • Order: Cucurbitales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Melon

In this monoecious plant, male flowers occur in the nodes first, from which fruits bear, followed by the blooming of female flowers, which indicates how many fruits the vine will bear. The flowers are usually yellow in color, are smaller in size. It is mostly cultivated in tropical climates of Africa and Asia. It is relished as a culinary fruit, before it turns ripe.

  • Scientific name: Cucumis melo
  • Family: Cucurbitaceae
  • Order: Cucurbitales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Fig

In this monoecious plant, insect pollination occurs when wasps lay eggs in the male flower, where interbreeding happens, and the wasp carries the pollen to the female flower. Figs can be consumed raw as well as dried. They are grown in hot and humid climates. It is processed into jams and cookies.

Scientific name: Ficus carica
Family: Moraceae
Order: Rosales
Kingdom: Plantae

Banana

This monoecious plant has both the male and female flowers that, first originate as buds called peduncles, that support the overbearing banana bracts, that grow upwards in clusters. As much as being a staple fruit, its shoots are used in textiles, such as tablecloths and kimonos.

  • Scientific name: Musa
  • Family: Musaceae
  • Order: Zingiberales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Birch

In this monoecious plant the male flower is round and yellow, that produces in autumn, the female flower bears the fruit at the opening of leaf nodes and are often brown in color, showing signs of maturity. The wood of the birch is quite hard; hence it is used in cosmetics, furniture, extracting leather oil, and glues.

  • Scientific name: Betula
  • Order: Birch family
  • Kingdom: Plantae
monoecious plants examples
Birch trees from Wikimedia Commons

Squashes

In this monoecious plant the flowers are insect-pollinated, the male flower produces pollen, while the female flower mostly bears fruit like pumpkin, and some gourds. The flowers are usually five-petaled and are orange in color. It is used in baking, cosmetics, and also as a herbal medicine in some places.

  • Scientific name: Cucurbita
  • Family: Cucurbitaceae
  • Order: Cucurbitales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Spruce

Spruces are the largest part of coniferous evergreen forests, this monoecious plant reproduces by self-pollination. Its needle-like leaves protect the flowers, but as spruces are susceptible to frost and cold, seeds often remain dormant and can’t bear fruit. Spruce wood is used in making musical instruments like violin and piano, and also in building ships and airplanes.

  • Scientific name: Picea
  • Family: Pinaceae
  • Order: Pinales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Oak

Both the female and male flowers bear a nut called an acorn, that secretes tannic acid, which keeps insects and pests away. This monoecious plant/tree takes several months to germinate because it is grown in temperate climates, and seedlings bear fruit in spring. It is used in the construction of buildings, ships, and aircraft. Another important use is tanning leather.

  • Scientific name: Quercus
  • Family: Fagaceae
  • Order: Beech family
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Alder

In this monoecious plant, female and male flowers are situated adjacent together and are grown in temperate climates. It increases soil fertility and regulates the nitrogen cycle. Alder bark is used for its medicinal properties in treating lung disorders, making tannin, and musical instruments too.

  • Scientific name: Alnus
  • Family: Betulaceae
  • Order: Fagales
  • Kingdom: Plantae

Ipsita Ranjit

Hi...I am Ipsita Ranjit. I have a Master's degree in English Literature from Utkal University. My interests are reading classics and watching Asian films, which have helped me to look at things from different perspectives. I adore cats. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/ipsita-ranjit-2b2503154

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