(This brief, moralizing rant by Stevland was cut from the original manuscript because the book was getting too long.)
Sadly, I am the only one of my species. In addition to genetic advantages, sexual reproduction provides certain physical pleasures, and thus some hedonistic plants are self-pollinating despite the congenital defects that often occur; self-pollinators must make many seeds to ensure a reasonable number of healthy ones.
More abstemiously, I create asexual, agamospermic inflorescences whose always-healthy seeds result from modified meiotic division of the chromosomes inside the reproductive cells in virgin ovaries, rather than through fertilization by my own pollen. Some genetic crossover occurs, providing a certain amount of variation, although the offspring are very nearly clones. It is the best I can hope for, being alone.
Instead, I use flowers and pollen mostly for other purposes: pollen for communication, and flowers for the sheer beauty.
My next novel, Immunity Index, goes on sale May 4. Publishers Weekly has a review.
My writing and personal website is at https://sueburke.site/