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Word of the Week: Monoclinous

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Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

The word of the week is monoclinous [mon-uhklahy-nuhs] (adjective): having both male and female parts in the same flower.

Monoclinous flowers are part of the wide diversity of sexual systems present in the plant kingdom. These type of flowers combine both sexes in one individual structure — both the male part or the stamen and the female part or the pistill or carpel present in the same flower. Having both male and female parts allows for self-pollination in these flowers and they don’t need to rely on pollinators.

Flowers of this kind are also called “perfect” flowers. Other terms to refer to them include bisexual, androgynous, hermaphroditic and synoecious.

The opposite of monoclinous is diclinous where the flower has ether functional male parts or functional female parts but not both.