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In botanical terms, monandrous simply means to have a single stamen.

In orchids[edit]

A distinction between monandrous and other flowers is particularly relevant in the classification of orchids. The monandrous orchids form a clade[1] consisting of the subfamilies Orchidoideae, Vanilloideae, and Epidendroideae.[2] The other subfamilies, Apostasioideae and Cypripedioideae, have at least two stamens.

In animals[edit]

In animals, a monandrous system occurs when females have one mate at a time. For example, a female speckled wood butterfly will typically only mate once within her short lifetime.[3]


  1. ^ John V. Freudenstein and Finn N. Rasmussen (1999). "What does morphology tell us about orchid relationships?—a cladistic analysis". American Journal of Botany (Botanical Society of America) 86 (2): 225–248. doi:10.2307/2656939. JSTOR 2656939. PMID 21680361. 
  2. ^ Kenneth M. Cameron et al. (1999). "A phylogenetic analysis of the Orchidaceae: evidence from rbcL nucleotide sequences". American Journal of Botany (Botanical Society of America) 86 (2): 208–224. doi:10.2307/2656938. JSTOR 2656938. PMID 21680360. 
  3. ^ Lauwers, K.; Van Dyck, H. (2006). "The Cost of Mating with a Non-Virgin Male in a Monandrous Butterfly: Experimental Evidence from the Speckled Wood, Pararge aegeria". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 60 (1): 69–76. doi:10.1007/s00265-005-0142-4.