Why Avocado Flowers are so Unique?

Without scrolling down can you guess what variety these flowers are?

Avocado Flowers

I chanced upon this flowering tree recently, and I would have ignored it had I not seen the fruits hanging nearby. They looked so ordinary and pale; it is hard to believe they grow into the fleshy nutritious fruit, Avocado. Have you seen Avocado flowers before?

Avocado Flowers

All the flowers were in closed state. I scanned around for an open flower of Avocado, but didn’t find any. The macro shots too were not of much use. Later I read interesting facts about avocado flowers which explained why the flowers are in closed state. One has to spend hours studying its timings when it would be in its bloomed state.

Avocado flower is structurally and functionally very different from other flowers. It is unique. The Avocado flowers have both male and female parts. The first or female stage remains open for only 2 or 3 hours. The flower then closes and remains closed the rest of the day and that night. The following day it opens again. But now the stigma will no longer receive pollen. Instead, the flower is now shedding pollen. That is, each flower is female at its first opening, male at its second. After being open several hours the second day, the flower closes again, this time for good. If it had been successfully pollinated at the first opening, and if other conditions are right, it will develop into a delicious fruit, the Avocado.

Avocado Flowers with Avocado fruit

This very tricky flowering behavior makes the pollination rare and impacts the fruit production. Most of the flowers fall without producing fruit. Trees adapt naturally to maximise the likelihood of cross-pollination.  Some trees will open first in the morning as functionally female, close and then reopen the next afternoon as functionally male. Some other trees follow the vice versa pattern.

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27 Responses

  1. I didn't realize yesterday that the impromptu opportunity to click the flowers would lead to such descriptive insight. Well done!

  2. Jeevan says:

    I don’t remember seeing this flowers or fruit before… beautiful shots!

    Happy Sunday

  3. Cloudia says:

    Never knew the fascinating story!
    Aloha

  4. That is news to me… very interesting I love learnign more about plants !!! and yes a brilliant pic ! 😀

  5. I have never seen these before…fabulous and your observations are priceless!
    Thanks
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  6. Jidhu Jose says:

    i like Avacado juice

  7. Welcome Indrani!
    Always post a fantastic posts.
    I read it with great interest.
    I love to visit with you.
    I send greetings.
    Lucia

  8. Lui says:

    I know it because one of our trees, Yvon, is an avocado tree and she flowers and bear fruits every year!

    Nice shots!

  9. Carver says:

    Fascinating post and beautiful shots.

  10. ladyfi says:

    What an unusual flower – and so lovely too.

  11. Nice blog post! 🙂

    Greetings from The Netherlands,
    DzjieDzjee

  12. Sylvia K says:

    I love avocados, but never knew this about them! Fascinating indeed!! Hope you have a good week, Indrani!

  13. from first looks, I thought it was a fig. We had a tree similar to this.

  14. DeniseinVA says:

    I enjoy eating avocados but have never seen its flower. Thanks for sharing it Indrani.

  15. Hilary says:

    Wow.. I had no idea. Very cool.

  16. I love avocado, but I've never seen its blooms before!

  17. I would not have thought this was an avocado plant. That's really interesting.

  18. Carletta says:

    I too would not have guessed.
    It looks like something I think I do know but can't place that at the moment.
    Thanks for sharing the avocado!

  19. George says:

    Thanks for the neat pictures and the fascinating information. I didn't know any of this about the avocado blossoms.

  20. Meoww says:

    No wonder avacados are so expensive. So interesting and creative, Mother Nature is!

  21. Unusual and unique flowers. Thanks for the interesting info.
    Avocado juice is so yummy 🙂
    Thanks for dropping by…

    http://www.womenandperspectives.com

  22. AmitAag says:

    Nice, informative post and cool clicks, Indrani:)

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