Looking For a Mate – Some Plants Just Change Their Sex

Some Plants Just Face Big, Big Challenges When Looking for Romance!

The plant world has some amazing ways to make sure that progeny are successfully reproduced. One of the most interesting ways of overcoming the challenge of not having the right mate nearby is solved when some plants change their sexual orientation as the need arises. This small group of plants have a very liberating “keep all options open” way of propagating themselves. Still others overcome the big challenges of finding a suitable plant mate by excreting toxic substances to keep their unwanted suitors away. Finding the right mate can be downright challenging for some among the plant kingdom.

The most novel solution to the elusive mate syndrome has been solved by plants like the saltbush. If the opposite sex is not nearby, they just simply change sexes and continue with their propagation process. The sexually labile, Four-Wing Saltbush (Atriplex

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Osage Orange – The Tree That Helped Settled the Wild Frontier

The Mighty Osage Orange

The tree with too many names to remember is unforgettable to anyone who has picked up the bumpy, greenish-yellow, citrus-smelling fruit in the fall. The Osage orange is a tree with a history. It is an unassuming tree that was instrumental in settling the wild frontier. Through the years and across the continent it was called Bodare Us, Bodark, Bodeck, Bodock, Bois d’arc, Bowwood, Geelhout, Hedge, Hedge Apple, Hedge-plant, Horse Apple, Maclura, Mock Orange, Naranjo Chino, Osage, Osage Apple-Tree, Rootwood, Wild Orange, or Yellow-Wood. Originally the First Nations People of the Omaha-Ponca called it Zho-nzi-zhu, which meant yellow flesh wood tree and the Pima called it S’hoitgam kawli meaning thorny fence. To all it is a remarkable tree that offers shelter, protection, strong wood, and interesting fruit.

Osage Orange Tree

Botanically, it is called Maclura pomifera, named after William Maclure (1763-1840), who was an American

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