Choosing dioecious plants – what does it mean?

Whether you use our plant filter or you spot our natty little character icons on each of plants listed on, you may happen across the phrase “dioecious”. But what does it mean?  Let’s try and put you in the picture – and find some plants that fit the bill along the way!

Fact file: Dioecious

Dioecious… some of our plants fit this description – a plant that can produce either male or female flowers on separate plants.  Both produce flowers – just one has the male reproductive elements, the other female (unlike monoecious which has BOTH on the SAME plant, or hermaphrodite that has a flower parts from BOTH)

INTERESTING FACT: The word “dioecious” has its origins in Modern Latin from “di-“ meaning two and from Greek “-oikos” meaning “house”. Two houses!

Buying dioecious trees and hedging

But what does that mean when you buy a quantity of a dioecious variety of young plants? Well, since the majority of our plants are supplied bare rooted in winter and our plants are very young, it’s nigh on impossible to tell, as we’ve no distinguishing flowers to help us.

what are dioecious plants

So that means, if you want to ensure both genders are present – for the best pollination and attraction for wildlife – you’ll need to buy in quantities of 25 or more.  This way, the law of averages and probability kicks in – you are the most likely to get a mix of both.

We simply can’t be any more scientific than that with such young plants – they just won’t have shown their full identity just yet.

Dioecious Trees and Hedging Plants

We’ve added a dioecious category to our search filters, so have a look at these and other characteristics (e.g. horse-friendly, wind-resistant) – we have varieties across trees and hedging plants and bare root and cell-grown stocks.

Common Osier – Salix Viminalis

Goat Willow – Salix caprea

Golden Willow – Salix alba vitellina

Grey Willow – Salix cinerea

Holly – Ilex aquifolium

Sea Buckthorn – Hippophae rhamnoides

Native Black Poplar – Populus nigra betulifolia

White Poplar – Populus alba

Yew – Taxus baccata







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