Almond Orchard.

Prunus dulcis is not a self-pollinating plant.  The flowers of the plant require insects, such as honey-bees, to carry and transfer the pollen to other flowers for cross-fertilization.  In almond orchards, cultivators plant alternating rows of variety for the cross-fertilization. 


Almond Flower. flowers of the Prunus dulcis plant are hermaphroditic, meaning that they contain both female and male reproducing organs.  When another organism is pollinating a flower with the pollen from a different flower, the pollen which produces the sperm must come in contact with the ovule (which contains the egg) in order for the production of a seed to occur. 

Alternation of Generations diagram.  Picture taken and drawn by Jennifer Stepaniak.  Referenced

The life-cycle Prunus dulcis goes through is called the alternation of generations.  Alternation of generations is a complex life-cycle.  The almond tree is sporophyte dominant, it undergoes meiosis to  become haploid spores which are then gametophyte until they fertilize and become a zygote.  The zygotes then undergo mitosis and are in their dominant form, sporophyte. 

Most Prunus dulcis trees do not bear fruit until they are about 3-4 years old.  The almond trees begin to bloom and flower around March, are pollinated, and begin to have ripening fruit around October. 

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