Talk:Plant reproductive morphology

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Old talk[edit]

Re: "Physiological and morphological mechanisms" making no sense.

I interpreted "Physiological mechanisms" to be a reference to mechanisms that promote outcrossing - or at least mechanisms evolved to alter selfing rates. I'm happy you can argue that Dichogamy (e.g. protogyny and protandry)is physiological rather than morphological - but what about a reference to Herkogamy? which is clearly more morphological than physiological? --DJO 08:19, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I appologise! I've just re-read the page more carefully - Perhaps Dichogamy and Herkogamy could be listed under mophological mechanisms? Also, I'm not convinced that Fraxinus is a good choice as an example of floral structure, since of all well-studied sexual systems it is one of the least-well understood! The Fraxigen project promises to be informative Although the associated SI may muddy the waters, what about a nice classical Darwinian pin/thrum style diagram?
The point is really not to explain the sexual system by Fraxinus but to demonstrate what is meant (what range of possibilities exist) by "morphological mechanisms". For that it is excellent (and we have the drawings given by permission from the author of the paper). There is no reason why another, better understood species could not be used to go on and discuss/explain further. This is an excyclopedia, not a research paper or textbook. Basic concepts need to be demonstrated before moving on to the esoteric stuff.- Marshman 17:43, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Why did we drop "bisexual"? If that isn't going to be mentioned here, we should probably change the bisexual article. --User:Chinasaur

Nothing dropped. I took the paper of definitions as "modified" by Molnar and altered it in a direction that would cover more than just the angiosperms. But I can see lots more needs to be added to the definitions to complete that task alone. So, do not consider what is up there now as any kind of "last word". Indeed, I already see a valid conflict with MPF's definition for sub-dioecious in conifers that will need to get fixed here. What is up there seems like a good place to start, in part because the system considers whether one is talking about sex organs, plants (individuals), or species populations, a source of some of the problems we have experienced in working out differences we each feel - Marshman 00:33, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Given the confusion of terms, especially the problem with subdioecy, I think we're going to be better off splitting this into separate stuff for angiosperms and conifers. It's too bad since the terminology does overlap a good bit, but in the end I think there's too much inconsistency to try to deal with both groups at once. I don't really want to start two separate articles. I think we can deal with it successfully by first introducing the simpler conifer terminology and then launching into the angiosperm stuff. Also, are we planning to leave things in this list form, or break things out into full sentences a little more once we have a better handle on the whole system? I would prefer to include more full sentences at some later point. What do you think? --Chinasaur 18:22, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I do not think we want two articles. The user is much better served by seeing both consistencies and inconsistencies in terminology in one place. We just need to be sure we explain where differences exist. I do prefer to leave the list form but to have complete sentences and as much explanation as needed under each item in the list. The list becomes an outline, and that becomes a framework, within which to expound to whatever level is required. It often turns out, where such expounding becomes too much, that opening another article or area in the same article becomes obvious from the direction the discourse is taking, and you end up reducing back to a simple definition within the list area under terminology and develping that direction elsewhere. - Marshman 02:53, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What about separating the conifer and angiosperm stuff though? I have in my head a much clearer article based on this division; explain simple conifer situation first, gives people a nice, simple(r), biologically relevant introduction. Then jump on into angiosperm stuff, where it gets more complicated and introduces a lot of specific terminology without having to say "only for angiosperms" every time. Unless there are objections I will work on this when I have time middle of next week. --Chinasaur 18:48, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I really think that would be counter productive. Botanists are botanists. There is no confusion here. The differences in uses of any terms (which are very minor at this point) will be resolved. Remember, the typical user of Wikipedia is NOT a specialist in conifers or angiosperms or anything else. The audience does not need, and can not possibly benefit by spliting articles about general botanical topics (this is one) into "here is what conifer specialists think, but go here if you want what flowering plant specialists think." That would only increase the confusion and require that each article make an untrue statement such as "the following is only what angiosperm botanist (no such animal) believe, but not necessarily what fern (or conifer) botanists believe. You could alway go to the article on conifers (or whatever) and do your "specific" terminology stuff. This article is just fine as it stands and should apply to all plants. - Marshman 04:37, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm really having trouble expressing myself lately... I meant to make separate sections in this article, not two completely separate articles. It really wouldn't change this article very much since an introductory section on conifers would be quite short. --Chinasaur 16:04, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Again, while there should be separate sub-sections under Evolution and perhaps other topics on this page, it would be a mistake at this time to think there is a separtate terminology being used by persons specializing in conifers vs. angiosperms. I do not see it - Marshman 17:23, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I thought the terminology was distinguishable. Subdioecious apparently means different things between the two groups, there is much terminology only applied to angiosperms, and the sexuality issue is just much simpler for conifers. Anyway, I don't think the kind of change I'm thinking of is as drastic as you are thinking, so I'll look at it and maybe try it and you can see what you think. --Chinasaur 00:12, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Although technically there are no "angiosperm only" terms, obviously each group has a range limited by the kinds of reproductive structures present, and flowers only occur on angiosperms. Also, while I'm accepting that what we have for subdioecious is indicative of a difference of opinion between one group of botanists and another, it would be concluding that each is officially correct to separate them too much. "Official" definitions of this term is something I've not seen for either side. It could be that the gymnosperm paper being cited uses the terminology in a way no one else accepts. Or it could be a new definition that is slowly gaining acceptance. The way we present it now is how it should be presented, with an example publication and brief discussion. This does not mean there cannot be separate Angiosperm/Gymnosperm discussions in the article about the subject of Plant Sexuality (as I've started under Evolution). I would just caution you to avoid making too much of the definition of one word on the basis of what we presently have. - Marshman 18:13, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Below is a summary of outstanding questions I/we have on terminology. Please update as you discover more solid information (or add more confused ambiguities); put authoritative answers in bold and use strikethroughs to cancel incorrect/inappropriate remarks:

  1. Hermaphrodite (cone/flower level): does such a thing exist in conifers, or are all conifers monoecious or dioecious (or subdioecious)? From everything I have read so far, this is only angiosperms. It would simplify a lot if we can agree on this. - Correct, conifers (and the other gymnosperms) are never hermaphroditic - MPF And I think that may hold for the majority of lower plants (ferns, mosses) as well - Marshman - - - Difficult this one; in vascular cryptogams (ferns, clubmosses, horsetails, etc) the sporophyte generation one sees (a fern, for example) is asexual; their sex takes place in the gametophyte generation, the prothallus, which is a small, inconspicuous object with haploid cells; . Of non-vascular plants, I'm not sure. These groups have different terminology again, and I'd say they need separate treatment. MPF Of course the terms would not apply to a sporphyte fern; I disagree about 'separate treatment' as this article is about Plant sexuality. But we should not simply extend the terms to other groups unless specialists in those groups use the terms. Under moss there is mention of dioicious and monoiceous.
  2. Subdioecy: what condition does this actually describe? Is it a single, clearly defined thing in angiospems and a different single, clearly defined thing in conifers, or is it just a mess? My current understanding is:
    1. In conifers it is intermediate between monoecious and dioecious with a mostly male cone tree producing some female cones and vice-versa (Again, if conifers are never hermaphrodite at the cone/flower level then this is simple). - I did a search of the internet for "subdioecous" and "conifer", and the only matches were web sites that have copied our Wikipedia pages. I have very few books on hand covering conifers, but those that do, speak only of monoecious and dioecious (does not rule out subdioecious for conifers; could be a recent term). I'm open to including the consideration that some conifers might be subdioecious, but would be more comfortable if I could see that term used in references covering conifer species - Marshman 21:42, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC) - - - It is of relatively recent use in conifers, not very widespread (mainly because not many conifers show it conspicuously). The first use of the term for conifers that I'm aware of is J. McCormick & J. W. Andresen (1963), A subdioecious population of Pinus cembroides in southeast Arizona Ohio J. Science 63: 159-163. More generally though, research is showing it is very hard to pin down conifers precisely to monoecious or dioecious, as there is in reality a full spectrum between the two. Very few (if any?) conifers are strictly 100% dioecious, it is almost always possible to find one or more (or most) individuals producing occasional cones of the "wrong" sex, or a single branch all the wrong sex; some also change sex expression over time, either partly or completely. Conversely, there are few (if any?) conifers which are strictly 100% monoecious, all individuals producing male and female in the same ratio; in a population there will always be some trees that produce few male and lots of female (or vice-versa), even though the species is considered monoecious. If there has been any trend in usage, it has been to call a species monoecious, unless it is absolutely 100% dioecious (i.e. no observations ever of even one tree producing cones of both sexes); thus labelling a full spectrum all monoecious except for the extreme at one end of the spectrum. Personally, I think this is confusing (and ultimately trying to prove a negative!), as it means having to call a lot of conifers monoecious even though they are very close to fully dioecious; I think it would be better to consider many (most?) conifers subdioecious, to a greater or lesser degree. - MPF I can agree with you, except that the definition of subdioecious (right now in the article) does not fit the situation you describe. Perhaps our approach needs to be to somehow note that conifer biologists do not follow the definition as presented by the flowering plant guys. - Marshman 00:34, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC) OK, I added in the sense you are expressing above for subdioecious (fix how you like). We can let it hang out and see what interest it draws from others - Marshman
    2. In angiosperms, it describes something intermediate between bisexual and unisexual flowers, but whether this implies some bisexuality on an otherwise monoecious plant, or some bisexuality on an otherwise dioecious plant I can't figure out. - Yes to first part, maybe no to second. It is intermediate between bisexual and dioecious ("sub" means below or almost) in that there are male and female plants, but also some that have perfect flowers. But this raises an interesting point. If a population included male and female plants, but some individual plants had both male and female flowers (i.e., were monoecious) that would fit the conifer situation and seems like trioecious is a good term for that - Marshman 21:52, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)
  3. Diclinous: does this, as I have said in the article for the time being, include anything with any unisexual flowers, or only something with nothing but unisexual flowers. - All I can find so far suggests it is a synonym for unisexual - Marshman
  4. Androgynous: I've seen it on the web as a synonym for hermaphrodite, but I haven't seen it in any books and it's kind of a crappy term.- You may well be right. My only problem is that the article androgynous has nothing in it that would pertain. But this situation could change by adding other definitions over there.
I'll check all these out as I have time. I'm supposed to be working (as in "making a salary") right now! 8^) - Marshman 19:00, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Overall I'd say our early disputes and the current mess are not our faults; it seems this terminology was pretty loose when we got to it, so if we can bring any order to this I think we deserve to congratulate ourselves... Okay, let's see if we can clear some of this up... --Chinasaur 18:22, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Boy, I agree on that. We are still likely to encounter controversy in some terms, but having this page with all the options laid out will serve us well into a "consistent" future. - Marshman

List of articles to fix[edit]

Here's all the articles that will have to be tweaked/redirected once we get this right. (Add as necessary.):

Flower, Bisexual, Monoecious, Dioecious, Monoclinous, Diclinous, Perfect

I have been working on these. I just finished up Flower (and tweeked Bisexual, and Monoecious earlier) Some that are not articles should be created at Wikitionary - Marshman 19:00, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Terminlogy applied to populations[edit]

Hello, I was just wondering what the terms were for plant populations that contain Gynomonoecious, Andromonoecious, Trimonoecious individuals or any combination of these. If my understanding is correct, the terms given under "Plant Populations" at the moment do not cover populations with such individuals. For example, Gynodioecious refers to populations in which we have individuals that are either female or hermaphrodite, but no individual has both female and hermaphrodite structures. Thanks - Chris

Chris: You are confusing me, but I think you are looking for a distinction between terms describing the individual plant and those describing the collection of numerous (potentially sexually different) individuals in a population. For example, if we had gynomonoecious individuals mixed with strictly monoecious individuals, would that be covered under Gynodioecious population? I think subdioecious would be a safe term in most cases, but these terms tend to be bandied (is that the word?) about by a rather small group of botanical sexists, so the complexity of the terminology is flexible (developing, shall we say). Anyone have a more direct answer for Chris? - Marshman 04:28, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply Marshman. Whilst digesting all the terms I thought it would be helpful to have a visualisation. I knocked together the image below as an illustration to the individual plant terms. If it is all correct and you would like to, you're welcome to incorporate it into your article. - Chris

Pretty cool. Yes, we shoud put it in. Let me digest what you did - Marshman 04:34, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Ind plant sex.jpg

Cool - I will make some tiny adjustments - including changing "hermaphrodite" to "hermaphroditic". Any suggestions are very welcome :)

Sexual reproduction of plants[edit]

I find it hard to believe at this point that there really is value in having another article titled Sexual reproduction of plants separate from this one. Guess I'll wait and see where you are going, but right now looks like a candidate for merging - Marshman 21:42, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

This is a counter-argument against merging: I came across the term "dioecy" in an evolutionary genetic article[1]. This article was not about plant sexuality but evolution of sexed species including humans, flies, and other animal species. Therefore, there is evidence that certain communities discuss dioecy separate from sexual reproduction in plants. I found the way the current page is separated helpful within this regard. Billyziege 10:31, 23 January 2013 (PST)

I nominated it for WP:COTW. I see a differenbce between terms "sexuality" and "sexual reproduction". "Human sexuality refers to the expression of sexual sensation". Similarly, plant sexuality is describe the consequences and appearance of the given way of reproduction. Whereas "Sexual reproduction of plants" should describe immediate mechanisms thereof. Both topics are huge. mikka (t) 22:49, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


  1. ^ Bergero, Roberta. "The evolution of restricted recombination in sex chromosomes". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 24 (2): 94–102. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.09.010. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)


Please take a look into Talk:Monoicous article, where I collected various definitiond from several places in wikipedia about a suspected contradiction/disagreement. mikka (t) 23:19, 3 February 2006 (UTC) Please take a look into Monoecious article, where I collected various definitiond from several places in wikipedia. In particular, is it true that "Monoecious" and "Monoicous" are not the same? I find this rather suspicious: they derive from the same Greek and sound the same. I admit I am ignorant here, but to have so close-sounding terms in one and the same area of science is rather strange to me. mikka (t) 22:58, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

For example, and say the terms are interchangeable. mikka (t) 23:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

So they do. Not sure how authoratative they are, but monoecious or monecious are the terms I'm used to seeing - Marshman
There was something at the bottom of that article under Bryophytes that suggested they are not the same. But the word is monoecious. I know not what monoicous means, but it seems to be a term used by lower plant biologists (mosses, algae, etc.) where sexuality is different from that displayed by the higher plants. A search of Google finds only a couple of articles that are not from Wikipedia that use the term "monoicous". Still, your collecting definitions together from articles is contrary to a direction we should go in. You are gathering them from articles where they were (in some cases) moved not too long ago to avoid a problem that the "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" policy is designed to clear up. If you are creating a page of related definitions, it will just get swept away as inappropriate for an encyclopedia. - Marshman 23:23, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

See my comments on the Talk:Monoicous page about the biological difference. --EncycloPetey 09:35, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


what about schistosoma?

Cannabis reproduction[edit]

There is currently a discussion revolving around the use of monoecious vs hermaphrodite at talk page for Cannabis reproduction. Please comment. Chondrite 22:19, 7 October 2006 (UTC)


Individual plants[edit]

"Dioecious - having unisexual reproductive units (flowers, conifer cones, or functionally equivalent structures) occurring on different individuals; from Greek for "two households". Individual plants are not dioecious, they are either gynoecious or androecious. "

Plant populations[edit]

"Dioecious - only dioecious plants. "

Rich Farmbrough, 13:00 1 November 2006 (GMT).

It is rather sloppiness: the text is supposed to mean that "dioecious" term is aplicable only to plant species, not to individual plants. I fixed somewhat. `'mikkanarxi 16:38, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Echinopsis spachiana Flower Caption[edit]

I think the caption for the male Echinopsis spachiana needs edited.

Monoecious and diecious[edit]

Both these terms redirect here, but they are also used in non-plant taxa, e.g. I've seen them in invertebrate biology texts. I'm not sure why we have both monecious and diecious and hermaphroditic and gonochoristic, as they seem to mean exactly the same thing. Richard001 (talk) 22:53, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

First, with plants it is almost always spelled "dioecious". Second, the terms have different meanings for plants, in that they refer only to the sporophytes, whereas "hermaphroditic" would refer to the gametophyte. Third, if they were articles, they'd need to be called Monoecy and Dioecy (or Diecy) to conform to MOS. But if there is substantiated use outside plants, certainly they could have their own articles.--Curtis Clark (talk) 13:51, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
But outside of plants they seem simply to be synonymous with the other two words. Perhaps a hatnote would be better? Richard001 (talk) 03:30, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

History section[edit]

Hi, speaking as a non-expert I wonder if somebody can help me out here. The "History" section on this plant sexuality article puzzles me. I do not subscribe to Darwin's theory of evolution - but that is not the point here. The langauge of this section seems to be shot through with "purposefulness" and "intentionality" as though plants had some "end" in view as they "developed" in their ability to reproduce. Am I missing something here? Unless the article is assuming something akin to "the selfish gene" idea, where genes do have "intention" then the language is out of place. If even somebody like me can see this, I would have thought that others can. This part of the article "gives comfort to the enemy". Have I misunderstood or is it worth somebody replacing the words and phrases which imply intentionality. Please - I am not fit or qualified to argue about the evolution of plant sexuality - so please look past my ignorance and address the question I have formed here. Apologies for my defensiveness - but I have seen threads degenerate badly on these kinds of subjects. I am not arguing for creationism here- I am merely asking if this section of the article fairly reflects evolutionary thought.


Ferris —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ferrislindsay (talkcontribs) 20:35, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any "purposefulness" and "intentionality"; can you be more specific? I simply described what occurred over time, maybe you are overly sensitive to the issue and are reading more into the words than that they are saying? If would be helpful if you can provide some examples and how you are interpreting the meaning. Hardyplants (talk) 21:37, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

History section[edit]

Hi Hardyplant, No. Not sensitive. But never mind. I'll be more specific. I wasn't saying it was wrong (I'm not qualified to do that). I simply noted the use of the following language:

"Early plants used abiotic means to transport sperm for reproduction" By my reckoning the use of the verb "used" here implies purposefulness.

"released sperm freely into the water to be carried by the currents." Again, the use of the term "to be carried" implies intentionality.

"As plants moved onto land they used a thin film of water" The term "they used" could also imply purpose or intention.

"they used alternation of generations, as in ferns, or the wind to move spores. " ditto. Also it appears as though there is an aim or end in view (the moving of spores).

"Pollen grains, the male gametophyte, developed for protection of the sperm" As far as I remember (I'm treading on dangerous ground here)the process of natural selection, selects for traits that are advantageous in a given environment. This seems to be different to "developing a trait or characteristic" with the intention of protecting sperm.

"plants evolved to use insects to actively carry pollen from one plant to the next" The term "to use" again, implies purposefulness or intentionality.

Please do note I am not wanting to discuss evolution - but just wanting to understand if this part of the article correctly reflects an evolutionary position. If it is based on Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene - then I can understand and accept that although the article uses the language of intentionality it does so as a device rather than in order to literally attribute "will" and "motive" to plants (or genes)

Ferrislindsay (talk) 22:53, 10 August 2009 (UTC) ferris (have I signed myself correctly)

"Use" does not always signify intent:"Rainfall uses drainage channels to reach the sea." Still, some of the other wordings could be inferred to represent teleology. Although biologists are trained to avoid teleological thinking, our language still falls into teleological channels; as you note, it is a literary device.
They certainly could be changed, though. I was going to make some suggestions, but some of them seem to be incorrect even when literary license is taken into account, so I'll need to look at them in context.--Curtis Clark (talk) 02:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
I am open to any needed changes in phrasing, but my use of used means that an action is "Employed in accomplishing something" not that it has a future goal. "developing" is just change over time, any idea of purpose has to be read into the word which is not really there without more information.Hardyplants (talk) 03:15, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Problems with this article[edit]

It seems to me that there are several problems with this article:

  • It's actually about the sexual morphology of flowers, not plants in general – at most it's about plants in which the sporophyte is the dominant generation
  • It's incomprehensible to non-specialists
  • It's seriously under-referenced, especially with regard to definitions, and seems to me to contain some WP:SYNTH (see the comments by Marshman above; also the article says "This list is reproduced here, generalized to fit more than just plants that have flowers" – this is definitely SYNTH or even OR)
  • It contains some errors, e.g. the use of "monoecious" to mean only a plant with unisexual monoecious flowers, whereas different definitions are found in the literature.

I will attempt to correct any obvious errors, but in many ways it seems to me that it needs to be completely re-written from the beginning, which I don't have time to even think about just now. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:44, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Update: I have now re-written parts to remove the error which strictly equated monoecious with unisexual. I've tried to allow for both the broad definition of monoecious which includes bisexual flowers and the narrow definition which excludes them. I've added references for definitions in the first part of the body of the article. A lot more work is still needed! Peter coxhead (talk) 13:47, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree that a lot more work is needed; it will probably take considerable time to complete. The section about plant populations seems to me to be an artificial division and arguably shouldn't be here but at Plant reproduction. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:01, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree. And quite a lot of it is simply duplicated; if a particular morphology applies to every plant in a population, then the term for the population is the same as for the plant. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:26, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Rename proposal[edit]

I propose that this page should be renamed to Plant reproductive morphology (currently a redirect) because, strictly speaking, "sexual" applies to the gametophytes not to the sporophytes, so all the material about anthers and ovaries doesn't belong on the page as currently named. Rather than stripping that all out, I'd prefer to see a thorough treatment of the morphology of the reproduction from gametophytes of ferns, mosses, and the seed plants (perhaps not the green algae, that would get very complex). Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:48, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Support, but... "Reproductive morphology" is a much better title. (I've tried to add a bit to explain why sexual terminology is in practice used for angiosperm sporophytes even though it's not strictly correct. This point was completely missing.) However, I'm not sure about the breadth. I incline to the view that it makes sense to have separate articles at least for groups with independent gametophytes and those without (i.e. seed plants). The terminology is different (e.g. the need to distinguish between monoicous/dioicous and monoecious/dioecious); the reproductive morphology of both gametophyte and sporophyte needs to be discussed in detail the former case. I think a combined article would be too long. How about starting with "Reproductive morphology of flowering plants" or "Flowering plant reproductive morphology" and working outwards from there? Peter coxhead (talk) 17:41, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support; I think "plant" is appropriate. If we ever get to the point where we have enough to spin off daughter articles (flowering plants, gymnosperms, ferns,...) we can spin those off. But a general overview is also appropriate. Guettarda (talk) 18:21, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

As there were no objections, I've made the move. A lot more work on the article is needed! Peter coxhead (talk) 12:00, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal from Dioecy[edit]

Discussion moved from talk:Dioecy

Is "dioecy" ever used for animals? I can't find an example. This article contains very little that is not in Plant sexual morphology, and it could sensibly be merged there. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

I've seen "dioecious" used frequently in descriptions of invertebrates. E.g. ISBN:0030229073 Invertebrate Zoology, 5th edition, Barnes Cmungall (talk) 19:13, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I have the 7th edition, 2004 (the 5th is a bit old), now by Ruppert, Fox & Barnes (Barnes is dead). The term isn't in the index, but of course may be used. Can you give me some examples of taxa described in this way so I can check whether they are still described in this way? Peter coxhead (talk) 21:23, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't think it would be helpful to merge Dioecy here. It is a very small article, but to-the-point, and that material would be submerged here. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:47, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
I guess lumpers and splitters exist in Wikipedia articles as well as in taxa (and an editor can be one in regard to Wikipedia articles but the other in regard to taxa). I tend to be a lumper in Wikipedia, but I quite understand that often it's just a matter of preference; it works either way. I do however think there are some cases where separate articles are forced to repeat a lot of information (which then becomes inconsistent if not incorrect in some of them) and where terms can only be properly understood in relation to one another (e.g. monophyly, paraphyly and polyphyly have never made sense to me as separate articles). If Dioecy remains separate, why not have a separate article on Monoecy (which is now a redirect here)? Would you have a separate article on Diploid (i.e. separate from Ploidy)? Peter coxhead (talk) 01:33, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that I'm generally a splitter, but in this case I'm happy with the status quo because dioecy is a frequently used term. The other terms on this page are numerous, and most are rarely used. For diploid, I don't think it is much used without one of the other ploidy levels being discussed as well, so leaving it in with ploidy seems fine to me. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 21:57, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense, so I'll take off the merge tag. So long as the two remain correct/consistent, which is my main concern with splitting topics. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:48, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Liverwort image[edit]

The liverwort image shown here is of Marchantia polymorpha subspecies polymorpha. The species is dioicous, producing male and female gametangiophores on separate plants. The image therefore shows multiple male and female plants growing tightly together, not a single monoicous plant. The caption is therefore incorrect in stating, as it does "this individual produces both male structures (sperm-producing, antheridia) and female structures (egg-producing, archegonia); it is monoicous." It is not monoicous, it is dioicous. Furthermore, and adding to the confusion, the reproductive structures shown are not the antheridia and archegonia as the reader might conclude from the caption, but specialised structures, known as gametangiophores, that bear and protect the gametangia. It would be best to replace the image with a pair of images (from WP Commons, where there are several options) showing plants with male and female reproductive structures. The caption will have to be edited accordingly. Plantsurfer (talk) 16:59, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

The terms "dioicous" and "monoicous" could also be included in the Terminology section, since they are not coterminous with dioecious and monoecious, referring as they do to gametophyte sexuality and not to sporophyte sexuality. I also think a pointer to the article Glossary of botanical terms would be useful here. Plantsurfer (talk) 17:05, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
The Terminology subsection is in the section Flowering plants, so it wouldn't really be right to add "dioicous" and "monoicous". What is really needed is a new section on non-angiosperm vascular plants. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is a little logistical difficulty. You say non-angiosperm vascular plants, but dioicous and monoicous only apply to bryophytes. Do you see this article as dealing with tracheophyte reproductive morphology? In which case the Marchantia picture is off topic anyway.Plantsurfer (talk) 14:40, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
As we discovered when working on this article in the past, botanists are not consistent in their use of terminology. "Dioicous" and "monoicous" are regularly applied to the gametophytes of extinct basal polysporangiophytes, such as those of Rhynia and Nothia, so are definitely not terms restricted to bryophytes. I'm not sure about extant lycophytes, but I'm sure I've seen the terms applied to extinct lycophyte gametophytes. On the other hand, many reliable sources use "monoecious" and "dioecious" for both gametophytes and sporophytes (e.g. Taylor, Taylor & Krings (2009), Paleobotany).
I think that the article should either cover all groups of embryophytes or be retitled and restricted to angiosperms. I'd prefer the former. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Curious you should say that. I have not encountered the use of the terms dioicous & monoicous in relation to extant pteridophytes, and although I have applied them myself to Devonian gametophytes, I don't really know whether it is regarded as appropriate usage for plants with sporophyte-dominant life-cycles. People like Taylor, Kerp & Hass refer to the Rhynie chert gametophytes as unisexual or hermaphrodite. If you know of a source/sources that do apply these terms to pteridophytes I would be interested to have a reference.

I agree with you that the article should cover all groups of embryophytes.

There is a diagram of Marchantia life-cycle on WM Commons called

Liverwort life cycle.jpg

. What do you think of that as an alternative to the existing file? Otherwise I have good quality images of my own taken recently of separate male and female plants which could be used. Plantsurfer (talk) 10:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Step back a bit. We already have Alternation of generations. Clearly there needs to be some summary of plant life cycles, but I see this article as concerned primarily with morphology (hence I'd prefer your photos to the life-cycle diagram). I think the article needs an overhaul, with a clearer structure. Assume that "plant" = embryophyte. Then the obvious main sections are:
  • Introduction to plant lifecycles, alternation of generations, but only as relevant to morphology
  • Bryophyte grade
  • Pteridophyte grade
  • Gymnosperms
  • Angiosperms
Maybe if properly expanded this would be too long? Peter coxhead (talk) 18:16, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Re the use of mon/dioicous: uses with ferns do exist, although uncommon; see the captions to the bottom line of Fig. 2.3 here for example. Combinations like "heterosporous and dioicous" can be traced back to Bateman R M & DiMichele W A (1994) Biol Rev 69:345–417. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:18, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

breaking up this article[edit]

It is intensely irritating as someone trying to describe plants as monoecious, that the poor clown (my potential reader) who is simply looking for a simple definition, must read through all this and with luck finally come upon the meanings of dioecious and monoecious. It means that I really have to think twice before I decide whether to put my reader (should I be so lucky) through this. I think life would be much simpler if monoecious got its own (very simple) page, somewhat in the form of the old-fashioned dictionnaire raisonnee. (and this goes for decussate which redirects to decussation where three meanings are given only one of which is relevant to botany.) Redirection to long portmanteau articles for dictionary items is not helpful MargaretRDonald (talk) 01:24, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Thank you MargaretRDonald (talk). I don't know that monecious needs its own page, but this page does little to elevate ones understanding of monecious, dioecious, etc. and does merit a significant revision. Though exceptions are interesting, they need to be balanced with first some more typical broad examples. All this clarifying and defining could be done through new sections and perhaps some illustrations as earlier suggested but not incorporated. GeeBee60 (talk) 16:11, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
One problem is that to understand monoecious/dioecious and monoicous/dioicous (which does have its own page), you really have to understand alternation of generations in plants. We could try having a short page for monoecious/dioecious, but I'm not sure that it would be any clearer than monoicous is.
You could link article text to the entries in the Glossary of botanical terms, e.g. Glossary of botanical terms#monoecious. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:52, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, @Peter coxhead: That's a most helpful suggestion, which I will use. MargaretRDonald (talk) 18:27, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

Question to be addressed, perhaps[edit]

What forms of reproduction are common to all plants? Do all plants have sexual (sperm & egg) reproduction as at least one means? (I myself don't know, but would like to. It would be great to have a section about this. I have placed this in "Talk" for 2 articles: Plant reproduction and Plant reproductive morphology) Acwilson9 (talk) 20:05, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Material removed[edit]

I removed a newly added section in this edit. My reasons were:

  • It's too specialized in relation to the topic of the article, being a detailed account relating to one species, Arum italicum.
  • The topic of functional gender could be included, but would need to be less detailed and more general, in line with the article as a whole.
  • The material has other problems, including being US-centric (Arum italicum is not "imported from Europe" except outside Europe) and containing advice contrary to WP:NOTMANUAL ("Arum italicum is best grown in warm environment with moderate moisture ...")

Peter coxhead (talk) 17:00, 11 July 2019 (UTC)