Upon checking out a slim volume in the 1970’s from the local library on the sex life of plants, my two passions of growing things and reading collided. In thoroughly investigating the reproductive parts of blossoms, what really got me at the time was the female parts looked similar to the ovary of a human female, and the stamen is undoubtedly phallic.
But the thing most fascinating to me now is the different combinations of male and female in plants. There are the flowers that contain both sexes, able to fertilize without the birds or the bees, or the whims of the wind. They are referred to as ‘perfect flowers,’ or ‘hermaphroditic,’ meaning one bed, and tend to be big showy blossoms like the lily, the rose, and of course, the orchid. Other plants contain a mix of male or female individual flowers, as in the zucchini, and are referred to as monoecious meaning one household. Some plants do sex switiching, starting out male and as they mature, they may be asexual for a time, and then become female. And there are species, the Ginko for one, in which the male and female trees are totally separate. Even though there are many species of plants, and scientifically only one species of human beings, all those floral variants, and there are more than listed above, serve to open my eyes even wider to gender fluidity.