Jun 18, 2012, 2:55 PM EST
Of course this letter to the Findlay Courier (Ohio) has to be a put-on, and one worthy of The Onion, no doubt. Then again, I’ve heard nuttier things from right-wing religious zealots, so who knows? Anyway, some guy is demanding that the buckeye be removed as the Ohio state tree, and expunged as the Ohio State mascot, because the buckeye plant is a polygamo-monoecious species — in other words, possessing both male and female flowers. Making it bisexual.
Something in the “Just Ask” column (Page A3, May 29) disturbed me. According to the column, “the Ohio buckeye, Aesculus glabra, bears flowers with both male and female organs on the same tree. It is a monoecious species.”
I couldn’t believe this, so I did some research and, sure enough, a science website (forestry.about.com) states that “the Ohio buckeye is polygamo-monoecious, bearing both bisexual and male flowers.”
The buckeye is our state tree and most of us gladly wear the nickname, “buckeyes.” But it is shameful and unacceptable that a bisexual tree should represent us! We are flaunting the Holy Bible!
I urge everyone to contact their state representative and demand legislation removing the buckeye as our state tree and condemning the use of the term “buckeye” as a nickname for residents of Ohio.
Does anyone know if carnations are bisexual?
Jim Flechtner, Findlay
Well played, Jim. As for carnations, let’s take a look and … uh, oh:
A single carnation plant has both male and female reproductive organs, allowing them to self-pollinate and form seeds. The male organ, or stamen, is covered in pollen. Insects and sometimes birds pick up this pollen and transfer it to the female part of the flower called the pistil in the course of feeding. Carnations require pollinators with long proboscises as their flowers are deep, making access to the pistil difficult for smaller insects. After successful pollination is achieved, the flower begins to die off and the seed head matures.
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