Laurel - is the same plant always male or female?

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by mariadf, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. mariadf

    mariadf New Member

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    Laurel is a dioecious plant, that is, it bears flowers, unisexual, in two different plants, one with male flowers and one with female flowers (which then bear fruit). Unisexuality is due to evolutionary phenomena of abortion starting from initially complete flowers. In fact, in female flowers there are 2-4 non-functional staminoids (i.e. residues of stamens), a similar phenomenon occurs for males, which have atrophic female parts (non-functional and atrophied).
    Question: every year, does the same plant always become male or always female or, depending on the years, can the same plant become male or female?
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    The following attachment is an excellent resource on reproductive strategies in trees--one of the best I've found.

    In Laurus nobilis, it looks like it is strictly dioecious and not "paradioecious" -- that said, the listing of plant species at the end includes none that are paradioecious, so I'm not sure why that was left out as a category (maybe it is exceedingly rare?).

    I'll also add that there seems to be some research effort into being able to sex Laurus nobilis at early stages within micropropagation, which also suggests that the sex does not fluctuate or switch.

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