Sex in Plants
53- And has sent down water from the sky. With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants.
[Quran 20:53]3- …And fruit of every kind He made in pairs two and two.
During the time of the Prophet, biology was not a developed science and the system of reproduction of plants was not known. Differentiation of sex in plants was to be a later discovery. The concept of the production of diverse pairs of plants as stated in the Quran 1400 years ago is very meaningful.
Most species of plants exhibit features of sex, namely, the production of specialized sex cells or gametes and the fusion of these cells in pairs, called fertilization. In flowering plants, the gametes are produced within the flowers. In the female portion, the egg of the plant forms a bulge: this is the ovum with its small and round seeds. Sperm is produced within the pollen tubes and then is carried by wind or insects or other agents from the pollen-producing organs of the flower to the stigma of the pistil. Inside the pistil are ovules, within each of which a female sex cell (egg) is produced. The fertilized egg develops into the embryo of the seed, and the ovule eventually becomes the mature seed. The pollen grain with its tube and contents is the male gametophytes of a flowering plant, and the central tissue (embryo sac) of the ovule with its egg constitutes the female gametophytes of a flowering plant.
Plants are of almost infinite variety, their range stretching from the tiniest of plants to the gigantic Californian redwood (Mammoth tree) reaching a height of 90 meters. In the sexual reproduction of plants, male and female organs are differentiated. They have an extremely complex and perfect microscopic world. Thousands and thousands of female and male organs fit each other as if encoded. Had this harmony been a little bit less perfect, none of these plants could have perpetuated their species, since everything depended on these male and female reproductive organs. The least defect in any of them would mean the end of that particular species. These organs must exist in perfect condition within the same species of plant within the same time bracket. This impeccable order shows once again the perfection of the Creator’s design, which leaves no room whatsoever for coincidences. A complex code designed to unlock quadrillions of safes cannot possibly be the result of fortuitousness. The case of plants’ sexual reproduction is even more complicated, and the sexuality in plants and reproduction are but one of the many aspects of the creation of plants. Every plant in its impeccable form is an ornament of our world, a part of our ecological system, a miracle of creation.