Monoecious and Dioecious Plant Definition

A monocotyledonous (one flower per leaf) or diploid (two flowers per cell) plant is one whose seeds contain both male and female reproductive organs. A diploid plant is one whose seeds contain only male reproductive organs.

Monocots include many flowering plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, peas, beans and others. Diploids include most vegetables including carrots, lettuce and broccoli.

Dioscorea species are members of the family Fabaceae which includes more than 1 million known species worldwide. Most commonly found in tropical regions they have been cultivated for food and medicine for thousands of years.

They are often used in traditional medicines because of their medicinal properties. Some of these include:


Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes

Tea made from the leaves and flowers of the tea tree (Eucalyptus globulus) which contains caffeine and other compounds that may reduce blood pressure and increase alertness. Tea trees were once widely grown throughout Australia but have since declined due to over harvesting.

They have, however become popular again in recent years with the rise of “herbal tea”

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is a genus of 47 species of flowering plants notable for their fragrance, commonly called lavender.

Lemon (Citrus limon) is a small evergreen tree native to Asia but now cultivated worldwide. It is a small tree that blossoms in the winter and spring, and produces fruit year round.

Eucalyptus globulus is a tall tree native to Australia. The leaves are covered with a thick layer of wax, and the oily, fragrant leaves are sometimes used to make medicine.

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The tree yields a great quantity of oil that is used in medicines and in cleaning products.

Lemonade or limeade (both: la-men-AODE) is a sweet drink made from water mixed with the juice of lemons or limes. Cloves, cinnamon and sugar are sometimes added to improve the taste.

Tea (from an old Teutonic word meaning “To cut”) is made by drying the cured leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). These are imported mainly from China, but also from India and Sri Lanka.

Carrots are a root vegetable that is rich in beta-carotene, a substance that the body converts into vitamin A. This makes it (and other “orange” vegetables such as sweet potatoes and butternut squash) a good source of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for vision among other things.

Celery is a plant where the thick, fleshy stems are eaten. The main commercial varieties of celery are grown to be less bitter and have a hollow stem so they keep well after harvesting.

The most common variety of celery is known as Pascal celery.

Parsley is a biennial plant grown for its flavorful leaves and stems. The main commercial varieties of parsley are grown to be less bitter, to have flowing stems, and to be slow to go to seed.

Carrots and potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin-A, essential for night vision. Without it, you’d literally be walking around blind!

Lettuce is a soft, edible vegetable grown from a lettuce seed. The most popular types of lettuce include:

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Cos or romaine lettuce has long, stiff leaves and a crisp texture. It grows best in cool weather and absorbs less water than other lettuces.

Has thick, crunchy leaves that can be green or red. They have a sweet, nutty flavor.

Butterhead varieties have soft, loose heads with sweet flavor.

Green leaf or batavian has light green, serrated leaves and a robust flavor.

Red leaf is similar to green leaf lettuce but with red veins. The sweet flavor becomes more pronounced with heat and when grown in fertile soil.

Watercress has small, dark green, spicy leaves and is high in vitamins A and C. It grows wild along streams and other wet areas.

It can be intensely bitter so should always be eaten sparingly.

Green pakchoi is a leafy vegetable with long, green stems and edible roots that grows in the wild. It is high in vitamin C.

Chilli (Capsicum) comes from a plant native to South America and now cultivated worldwide. There are many varieties but they all contain the chemical capsaicin which makes them hot.

They are used as a seasoning and also to make paprika.

Bok Choy is a mild-tasting cabbage especially popular in China and parts of South East Asia. It is eaten both mature and young.

Garlic is a member of the lily family that grows wild in many parts of southern Europe. It is used as seasoning and to help preserve other foods.

Celery has few calories so it’s often served as an appetizer before a main meal.

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Chives are a member of the onion family and native to Europe and western Asia. They have a mild taste and are often used as a seasoning.

Ginger is a spice that comes from southern China and Indonesia. It was first introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century but was long thought to be rare and valuable because few people knew how to grow it.

It is used to flavor foods and as a medicine.

The salad is made up of different colored vegetables. Green lettuce is very high in vitamins, red tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin-C, while the yellow pepper contains vitamin-A.

The vegetables have been chopped into small pieces. You could also make a salad using cucumber, which has numerous health benefits.

The vegetable juice is made from basic vegetables like potatoes, carrots and beets. It has a sweet taste and is full of minerals and vitamins.

Meat comes from a living creature which has been killed for food. Animals are often bred and raised on farms, but in some cultures people just catch or hunt them.

There are many types of meat that can be eaten, including:

Beef comes from cows. It is the meat of mature cattle and has good nutritional value.

Pork is one of the most widely eaten meats. It comes from pigs, which are often kept in farms.

Veal comes from young cows and bulls. Generally seen as a more tender meat, it’s typically more expensive than other types of meat.

Lamb is the meat from a sheep that is less than a year old. It is particularly popular in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.

Game is meat from animals that are not typically farmed, such as deer or boar.

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Rabbit comes from, unsurprisingly, rabbits. It’s a lean meat that’s healthy and low in fat.

Seafood is meat taken from fish or other sea creatures. There are many types of seafood that can be eaten including:

Tuna is a large predatory fish that lives all over the world. The flesh is pink and oily.

Salmon has become popular in recent years due to its healthy profile. The flesh is pinkish-orange and rich in vitamins.

Herring is a small silver fish that lives in large schools. Herring used to be a very cheap dish, but now it’s more of a delicacy.

Shrimp is a large saltwater shellfish that sports a rose-like color. It is very popular in seafood dishes.

Whale meat used to be eaten more often, but as the costs of farming it fell, a large percentage of whales were driven to extinction as a food source leaving only a few species still threatened by extinction due to overhunting. The meat tends to be high in mercury and as such should only be eaten in small amounts.

Breadfruit grows on large trees and tastes similar to potatoes.

Sources & references used in this article:

Phenotypic plasticity of vegetative and reproductive traits in monoecious and dioecious populations of Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae): a clonal aquatic plant by ME Dorken, SCH Barrett – Journal of Ecology, 2004 – Wiley Online Library

The relative and absolute frequencies of angiosperm sexual systems: dioecy, monoecy, gynodioecy, and an updated online database by SS Renner – American Journal of botany, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

High abundance of dioecious plants in a tropical coastal vegetation by G Matallana, T Wendt, DSD Araujo… – American Journal of …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library

Boys and girls come out to play: the molecular biology of dioecious plants by C Ainsworth – Annals of Botany, 2000 – Elsevier

Chloroplast haplotype variation among monoecious and dioecious populations of Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae) in eastern North America by ME Dorken, SCH Barrett – Molecular Ecology, 2004 – Wiley Online Library

Flowering dynamics in monoecious and dioecious hemp genotypes by S Amaducci, M Colauzzi, A Zatta… – Journal of Industrial …, 2008 – Taylor & Francis

Population genetics of partial male-sterility and the evolution of monoecy and dioecy by D Charlesworth, B Charlesworth – Heredity, 1978 –



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