Plants are not so different from us. They require water, nutrients, and sunlight to stay productive and to hopefully reproduce once reaching maturity. There are thousands of different species of plants across the globe which have evolved and flourished under the harshest environmental conditions. From ferns that reproduce by releasing spores from the underside of their leaves to evergreens that reproduce by producing cones and needles. Every single plant on this planet has developed unique methods of passing on its genetics to the next generation.
Strawberries have developed two methods of reproduction and a third one which can be achieved with help from us.
This is a mature strawberry plant showcasing two methods of reproductive behavior.
The first method of reproduction, which we are most likely familiar with, is through sexual reproduction. When a plant reaches maturity and starts to produce flowers, these flowers are meant to incentivize pollinators to harvest pollen. It requires a lot of energy and resources for a plant to produce pollen but guarantees that the next generation of seed will be of mixed genetics from the male and female. The male portion of the flower is called the “stamen,” which produces pollen for pollinators to harvest. The female portion of the flower is called the “pistil” and consists of an ovary located at the center of the flower. Strawberries have both male and female parts that are capable of self-pollination with the help of wind or rain. In a controlled environment setting, it helps to use bumblebees for pollination and guarantees that complete pollination will occur.
The second method of reproduction, which is the least energy-consuming method for the plant, is called asexual reproduction. In this type of reproduction, there are no male or female parts associated with producing the next generation. There will not be any type of fruit or seed produced during this method of reproduction either. Some plants will produce offshoots from the original mother plant and produce clones of the same genetic material from the parent.
Strawberries are one of the many plant species which produce these offshoots and are referred to as “runners.” Runners will typically stretch out from the original mother plant, and once they contact the soil, they begin to form new roots. It is possible to have a field of strawberries that are all connected to one original mother plant!
Strawberries are one of the many plant species which produce these offshoots and are referred to as “runners.” Runners will typically stretch out from the original mother plant, and once they contact the soil, they begin to form new roots. It is possible to have a field of strawberries that are all connected to one original mother plant.
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