Learning about separated sexes in plants at Swiss schools

In the last weeks, Myriam Heuertz and Santiago C. González-Martínez developed different educational activities aimed at promotion of scientific thinking among children, in the framework of their respective Marie Curie Fellowships (in Fribourg and Lausanne). Hermaphrodite, male and female plants of Mercurialis annua were used to illustrate the incredible variety of plant mating systems, even within species. The distinctive Mercurialis male inflorescence was easily identified by the children, who were surprised that plants could have variation in their ways to produce offspring. This was continued by discussing in easy-to-understand terms how differences in mating system can have important consequences in plant evolution.


Learning about separated sexes in plants