Wrong. Plant sex is the most difficult thing I have ever done. And, erm, that is not as dodgy as it sounds.
It is a well known fact that plants have sex via the air, with the help of wind, bees, flies, etc. Right? Some plants prefer to self pleasure instead and mate with themselves and that seems to work well for them too.
The plants I work with prefer themselves and get it on very well and we are all happy. Until we need to mate one plant with another to study gene interactions... that is when our plants need a facilitator. And it would appear that the facilitator is now me. Oh joy.
The fertile bits of the plant are in the flower bud. Now the flower bud I am working with is about the size of a ... flea? Maybe if if you split a rice grain in two along the length, then take one of the skinny bits and chop it into about 4 pieces, then that would be about right.
The bits of interest ie the male and female bits, are much smaller. I cannae see them, Cap'n!
Basically you are supposed to take a pair of fine forceps and dissect the bud pulling back a petal, (which looks like a white speck) taking out all the male bits (basically invisible) so they don't fertilise themselves, and then take a flower from the daddy plant and rub its pollen all over the mommy plant. No problem.
So far in the week that I have been introduced to this torture I have decapitated about twenty plants and produced no crosses of any worth whatsoever. I am not a surgeon. Even a surgeon would struggle to perform surgery on a speck, right?
Someone very kind is now trying to teach me how to do this horrendous process with a microscope to ease the heinousness. But my boss told me to do it with the naked eye. If I do, there will be no plants alive at the end of it.
Will it help if I wear a bee suit?