Asexual reproduction in plants is actually quite common! This might be surprising given that many other organisms like mammals, fish, and reptiles typically reproduce sexually. Plants are interesting in that some plants that reproduce sexually can also reproduce asexually.
All types of plants use this kind of reproduction. You can find it all over the plant kingdom from what we consider to be weeds to plants that we eat every day. Plants have been evolving on the Earth for much longer than many other types of land-dwelling lifeforms. This has given them plenty of time to figure out new ways to adapt including asexual reproduction. In fact, many plants are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction. This evolutionary advantage allows them to diversify their genes when the opportunity arises and to continue on their species when times are harsher.
There are many different types of asexual reproduction in plants that we will encounter in our list today. Some of these are naturally occurring as in plants that release spores and others are caused by human intervention such as with cuttings. These are in two general categories: vegetative and apomixis.
Vegetative asexual reproduction involves a plant creating new plant material that goes on to become a new plant. This can be through budding, tillering, or other processes. The other type of asexual plant reproduction is called apomixis. This is a replacement for sexual reproduction that uses seeds to create new plant life. In either case, the new plants are genetically identical to the parent plant.
That’s another way of saying that they are clones!
Check out these cool 12 examples of asexual plants! Some might surprise you and others might be plants you encountered today!
You’re probably familiar with ginger. In fact, you might have even had some ginger to eat recently. This plant is famous for its culinary uses. Ginger has found its way into dishes ranging from soda to stir fry.
Ginger is also a plant that uses asexual reproduction. Ginger uses vegetative reproduction. This is accomplished when the ginger plant buds in natural settings or with cuttings when ginger is being cultivated by humans.
The next plant on our list is another common kitchen plant.
There is a lot to learn about onions! They are an interesting plant on this list because they reproduce both sexually and asexually. This is fairly common amongst plants. There are many different types of plants that can be reproduced using either sexual or asexual means. In the case of onions, this can either be done by allowing the onions to flour, bloom, and produce seeds for sexual reproduction or by using their bulbs for asexual reproduction.
No matter how you slice it, onions are pretty interesting just like the next plant on this list.
Gladioli are beautiful flowers that you can use to decorate your yard as well as your home. These flowers are unique on our list. They are one of the varieties of plants that can be reproduced with a few different asexual means. When it comes to gardening gladioli, one of the secrets is in dividing the mature bulbs.
This is similar to a cutting and allows the plant to reproduce asexually. This can be done by gardeners to preserve a particular strain of this plant.
This list of examples of asexual plants includes some pretty interesting plants including the dahlia. This plant is more than just a pretty flower, it is also another asexual plant.
Many people think that the dahlia has a bulb, but in fact, it is a tuber. That’s right, the dahlia is closer to the potato than it is to other flowers that have buds. Just like potatoes, this flower reproduces using the vegetative methods we discussed earlier.
We took a look at a plant that has a lot in common with potatoes, but what about the spuds themselves?
Sweet potatoes make their home in kitchens all over the world. Just like onions, this is another edible plant that uses asexual reproduction.
However, the sweet potato is another plant on our list that can use both sexual and asexual reproduction. When farmers are cultivating sweet potatoes for our tables, they often use the cutting technique to farm new potatoes. This takes a cutting of the stem from one potato and uses it to grow new, genetically identical potatoes. That’s a great way to preserve the tastes we love!
Coleus are some of the most beautiful plants out there. Gardeners and home decor enthusiasts the world over choose this plant for its stunning leaves. You’d be hard pressed to find a prettier addition to your garden or home anywhere else in the plant kingdom.
Coleus can be asexually reproduced through the cutting technique we described earlier. This allows gardeners to generate new coleus plants without having to plant new seeds. That’s a great way for gardeners to save money which is also a hint at the next plant on our list.
This is the first tree on our list! While your household money plant may be small in stature, make no mistake, this humble plant is in fact a tree.
The money plant can be reproduced by a strategy known as stem cutting. This involves cutting the stem of the money plant in just the right place so that the new plant can grow from the cutting.
Another great plant for decoration is the African violet!
These decorative houseplants make another great addition in our list of examples of asexual plants.
This plant is grown for the beauty it brings to gardens and homes. Growing your own African violet at home is really easy. There are two asexual means for reproducing this plant. You can take leaf cuttings to grow new African violets. This is one of the fastest ways to propagate new copies of the flowers you have in your home. These plants will naturally reproduce using division on their own. If you are cultivating African violets in your home, you will become a master of asexual reproduction in plants.
Jasmine is another favorite of gardeners who want to spruce up their home decor. If you are looking for a plant that reproduces asexually and looks amazing around your home, you can’t go wrong with jasmine.
While we know this plant for its flowers, it’s technically a shrub. Another surprising fact about this plant is that it is part of the olive family.
There are a variety of jasmine plants that reproduce through stem cutting. An amateur gardeners can quickly turn one jasmine plant into many.
Bougainvillea is both hard to pronounce and even harder to spell correctly. Don’t let that hold you back, though! This is one of the most stunning flowering plants you can grow around your home.
In the wild, bougainvillea reproduces by way of seeding. However, like other plants in this list, humans have discovered that we can propagate bougainvillea by rooting cuttings in soil. Once you start growing this flowering plant, you’ll be well versed in asexual plant reproduction.
Kentucky Blue Grass
There’s a reason why Kentucky Blue Grass is used as an ideal plant for lawns and other turf and it comes down to how it reproduces.
Kentucky Blue Grass can reproduce both sexually using seeds and asexually using vegetative reproduction. This means that this type of grass can reproduce when viable parts of the plant matter make contact with soil. This allows this type of grass to fight against weeds as well as predators. This makes the grass slightly self-managing which helps when it comes to lawn maintenance.
The final plant on our list might seem like a bit of a weed, but it has a rich history.
Dandelion is an amazing plant. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a weed at all. Let’s take a closer look at this asexually reproducing plant.
Dandelions use both vegetative reproduction as well as seeds generated to apomixis. In fact, research shows that dandelions can have more successful vegetative reproduction in higher CO2 environments.
Dandelions are also delicious! Their greens can be sauteed and cooked while the other parts of the plants go into historic recipes such as dandelion wine.
This is an asexually reproducing plant that is full of surprises.