Shaking Your Stamen

I'll never forget the emotional scars I suffered when, as a child, I had been excused from school early and, upon entering my home, discovered my two Rhododendron plants co-habitating, if you know what I'm talking about. Sure, they straightened up fast and pretended like nothing was going on, but I could see the pollen all over that little tramp's pistil. Ever since that day, I've had an extremely hard time achieving physical relationships with my flowers. You think humans are kinky? Let's take a look at the sex lives of plants, shall we?

First of all, most plants employ the aid of a third party in their reproduction—usually a bee or other insect that carries the reproductive cells from a male plant to a female. Now, I'm all for the occasional threesome (at least, I would be, should the opportunity present itself . . . write me at, but employing an insect to distribute your pollen for you? That's just gross. And no fun!

Even less fun is the option some plants choose—fertilizing themselves! I mean, we've all been there at some point in our lives, but as a general rule? How afraid of emotional intimacy can you get? And what kind of offspring will that method produce? All the recessive genes reigning triumphant? Eventually, you'll end up with the floral equivalent of the Habsburgs. Too soon?

Well, if you're not yet thoroughly disgusted by the immoral activity going on in your own back yard, you should come out to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park this Saturday for a guided tour through the sex lives of plants. Sarah Jayne leads the tour and will probably try to make all sorts of justifications about why we should be cool with these naked plants and insects rutting left and right all around us, but don't let her off the hook that easily. If we allow this kind of immorality, how much longer before a man and a dog are allowed to marry? Won't someone please think of the children (who are totally welcome on this hike, by the way).

The Sex Life of Plants Hike at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park (meet at Willow Canyon Staging Area, 20101 Laguna Canyon Rd., on the west side of Laguna Canyon Rd., just south of the El Toro Rd. intersection), Laguna Beach, (949) 923-2235; . Sat., 8 a.m. Parking, $3. Please call for reservations.


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