I’ve been reading up a bit (as is my way) about our new flowering trees. I thought the banana and papaya were pretty interesting, but the avocado takes interesting to a new level. Avocados are known for producing many more flowers than fruit, as pollination is quite a complex matter. Avocado flowers are the only flowers with separate male and female phases. Each flower opens first as a female and then the next day as a male. On top of this unusual feature, there are two types of avocado trees with different timing of the flowers: A-type trees open their female flowers in the morning and these flowers reopen as males in the afternoon. B-type trees open their female flowers in the afternoon and then their male flowers the following morning. Since fruiting requires cross-pollination, it helps to have both phases. Confused? The full story is here at the University of California web site. I highly recommend their stop motion film depicting the flower cycle. Fascinating stuff!
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