You know, I would say I trend more toward prude than its opposite, but, as a seed-saver and new poultry husbanding person, I have become more aware of sex in the flora and fauna around me. There are two reasons for this, prudishness be damned: one, I *need* to pay attention and two, birth/sex/death is really…not closeted in farm life.
So in the interest of the didyouknow, I will heretofore tell you that spinach is the only commonly cultivated annual vegetable that throws either male or female flowers. I can just see your eyes glaze over as I reveal this tasty tidbit! Wha? you say. Well! Most plants propagate by being a lot more AC/DC (that is, bisexual): they circle back and forth between throwing male and female flowers, either to self-pollinate or to time the blossoming of the male flowers to correctly match up with the female flowers, with the pollen either being wind-blown or availing itself of a willing intermediary pollinator (birds, bees, etc.) between the male and female flowers. Of course, it’s our human world that absolutely categorizes everything as “male” or “female,” and I think that’s where a lot of problems start, and not just for plants.
Male spinach with its tendrils, with female plants beyond
But back to spinach. Either a seed produces a female plant, or it produces a male one. If you let them go to seed, you hope for both to ensure yourself a nice set of happily fertilized ova. And luckily nature does lend you a hand: like most other species in the natural world, the chances of having either a male or female seed of two is roughly even.
Female spinach, with seeds