Chenopodium ambrosioides is a hermaphroditic plant, which means both the male and female organs are contained on the same plant. A brief description of the angiosperm (flowering plants) life cycle is described below. The plant that can be seen with the naked eye that houses the flowers and produces reproductive tissues is a part of the sporophyte generation. The sporophyte generation is diploid, referring to the fact that it contains two sets of chromosomes. Meiosis occurs in separate organs for the sperm and eggs within the same plant (hence hermaphroditic). Meiosis is the process by which the eggs and sperm are produced. The eggs are produced in the stamen and the sperm is produced in the anther. Both the eggs and the sperm are considered haploid which means they each only contain one set of chromosomes. When the eggs and sperm fuse this is known as fertilization and a seed forms. Once the seed grows into a plant (sporophyte) the life cycle will continue to repeat itself if conditions remain favorable.

The neat thing about this plant in particular is the fact that fertilization does not occur within the same plant. Although it is possible for fertilization to occur within the same plant because both the eggs and sperm are produced in one plant, the pollen (the sperm) is actually carried to another plant by the wind. This is referred to as cross fertilization via wind dissemination. Interested in learning about other plants that use the wind as a means of fertilization? Check out Cannabis sativa.

So why would cross fertilization be advantageous? As plants themselves have evolved, from lacking true tissues (bryophytes) to plants with seeds (gymnosperms) and flowers (angiosperms), so to have the mechanisms of reproduction. One major factor for cross fertilization is this process enhances the genetic diversity of the plant, which allows for greater variation and greater oppurtunities for the plant to tolerate and survive the ever changing environmental conditions that plants are forever exposed to.

Next: Interactions
Back to