Approximately 5% of all flowering plants are dioecious. Their same-sex female and male flowers are located "in two houses", that is, on different individuals. At the same time, only half of the population has the ability to bear fruit, but the possibility of self-pollination is completely excluded. Of the popular horticultural crops, sea buckthorn is dioecious. In order to get a harvest of fragrant and healthy berries in the future, a gardener must be able to distinguish male from female plants.
Sea buckthorn seedlings
At an early age, it is impossible to distinguish between dioecious sea buckthorn plants. Therefore, heterosexual seedlings are usually grown separately in nurseries and provided with appropriate tags. Contact a reputable store and read the labels carefully.
Plant the sea buckthorn in the area and wait 3-4 years. Plants will enter fruiting and can be distinguished in several ways.
Method one - during flowering Take a closer look at the flowers, collected in small brushes. If they are tiny, consist of a greenish ovary up to 2 mm long and a yellowish pistil of the same size, then the plant is female; if the flowers are larger, with two valves and four stamens, then it is male. Shake the "boy" branch - a cloud of pollen forms around.
Method two - after flowering Examine your seedlings. If the branches of the tree are covered with berries (hence the name - "sea buckthorn"), then this is a female specimen. The absence of ovaries can mean one of two things: either this plant is male, or female, which has not been pollinated and has not set berries. In this case, you will have to wait for late autumn.
Method three - after leaf fall Consider the sea buckthorn buds in late fall or early spring. In females, they are all the same: small, oblong, with two covering scales and a characteristic groove between them. In males, flower buds are well distinguished from vegetative (leaf) ones: they are large, rounded, with 5–7 scales, similar to small cones.