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Can we tell the sex of a tomato or an eggplant?

Many people have claimed that, by examining the size of the scar on the blossom end of the fruit, they can tell the "boys" from the "girls" and therefore determine which tomatoes and eggplants have more seeds. Though there tends to be a positive correlation between the smallness of the scar and successful seed development within these fruit-vegetables, the scar size cannot have anything to do with their sex because these foods are botanically perfect. The term "perfect" signifies a life form that can self-pollinate. Scar size can relate to the number of seeds in the food because when self-pollination occurs under less than optimum circumstances, seed development is below par and the scar size is larger than usual. A few fruit and vegetable buyers also erroneously claim that they can ascertain the sex of other perfect plants such as pineapples.

Some fruits and vegetables, however, are either male or female - the asparagus is an example. Nonetheless, the difference is not readily apparent to the naked eye at the marketplace because the talltale sexual characteristic (pistil, as opposed to stamen, development) is not conspicuous at the stage of the food's maturity when it is harvested.

10:22:16 on 10/07/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -