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Monoecious plants: what are they, characteristics and examples

Although the name may not sound like much to the less expert in botany, monoecious plants are very common throughout the planet, as they are one of the most numerous groups in the plant world. This term, along with other similar ones such as monoclines, diclines or dioecious ones, is used when we talk about the reproduction of plants.

Do you want to learn more about what a monoecious plant is? If so, join us in this AgroCorrn article in which we explain what monoecious plants are, their characteristics and examples of some representative species of this large group.

  1. What are monoecious plants
  2. Characteristics of monoecious plants
  3. Hermaphroditic plants
  4. Examples of monoecious plants

What are monoecious plants

We will start by explaining what a monoecious plant is . When the sexual organs of both sexes coexist in a single plant , the plant is said to be monoecious. This word comes from the Greek and is composed of mono, which means one, and oikos, which means house. Its meaning, thus, is quite intuitive: when both sexes inhabit a single individual.

Plants, unlike most animals, tend to present both sexes in the same individual, either with perfect flowers, which contain the sexual organs of the two sexes, or producing flowers of each of the sexes separately in the same plant.

Approximately 75% of the world’s plants are monoecious plants , in some of their different varieties.

Characteristics of monoecious plants

These are the main characteristics of monoecious plants :

  • As we have just seen, the essential characteristic of a monoecious plant is that in a single specimen we can find both sexual organs . When we talk about the classification of plants based on their reproduction and presence of sexual organs, several terms can be differentiated. On the one hand, there are the monoecious, which we have just defined, and on the other the dioecious, which are those plants that only have organs of a single sex in each individual.
  • If we stick to the flowers of monoecious plants, they are divided into monocline and dicline . The first are those bisexual flowers that present the organs of both sexes in the same flower, while the diclinas are flowers of a single sex. Both terms can be combined. Thus, when we speak of a monoecious dicline plant, it is one whose flowers have the organs of a single sex, but which produces both female and male flowers in the same individual. This particular condition is very common, since it allows the plant to reproduce both in a biparental way, pollinating other plants, and to pollinate itself. It is thus a way of ensuring the survival of the species without giving up the possibilities of genetic variety.
  • These types of plants tend to show their male flowers at the highest end of them to facilitate the propagation of pollen through the elements, while their female flowers tend to be lower.
  • Some monoecious plants have developed strategies or methods to avoid self-fertilization and thus further favor their genetic diversity.

Learn more about Plant Reproduction with this other AgroCorrn article.

Hermaphroditic plants

The hermaphrodite plants are nothing more than monoicas monoclinas plants flowers , ie those which have flowers with organs of both sexes in them. Monocline flowers are also commonly called perfect flowers and are very popular in areas such as agriculture, due to the facilities they provide when it comes to reproducing them, as they do not depend on pollinating insects.

Find out more about Hermaphrodite Plants: what they are, characteristics and examples with this other AgroCorrn post.

Examples of monoecious plants

¿ What are the monoecious best known? With these examples of monoecious plants , you will quickly see that many of them are more common than you might think.


Scientific name Zea mays , this cereal from the Poaceae family has been domesticated by humans for around 10,000 years. Corn is the most widely produced cereal in the world, ahead of other staples such as wheat and rice.

The well-known ears are nothing other than the female inflorescences, which are located on the sides of the plant. The male inflorescences, on the other hand, called spikes or panicles, are located at the highest ends of the plant.

Coconut tree

Its scientific name is Cocos nucifera , and with it we refer to a palm tree of the Arecaceae family, specifically the one that produces the fruits so well known and appreciated in many countries of the world: coconuts.

It is a plant typical of the beaches of tropical climates, originating in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, although it is currently cultivated in more places. Its inflorescences group both male and female flowers.

The seeds of coconut trees are exceptionally hardy, and can sometimes reach very distant shores washed away by the tide and end up germinating.


Scientific name Prunus dulcis , this small tree, rarely exceeding five meters in height, is another monoecious plant. The almond tree has its origin in Asia, and in addition to its fruit, the almond, it is very popular for its beautiful flowers with five petals, beautiful white or pink.

It is a warm climate tree that can withstand occasional dry spells quite well and its fruit, the almond, is especially rich in vitamin E and a great antioxidant.

Other examples of monoecious plants

  • Orón or asar ( Acer opalus ).
  • Short, short or holm oak ( Quercus ilex ).
  • Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus ).

If you want to read more articles similar to Monoecious plants: what they are, characteristics and examples , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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