As a rule, cultivated vines are monoecious (male and female flowers on the same plant), whereas wild vines are dioecious (separately on different plants). The cultivated monoecious vine has hermaphrodites, i.e. the male and female sexual organs are united in one flower. The all-female wild vines have played an important role in the development of the grape varieties. They were dependent on cross-pollination and at best they were fertilised by another grape variety, which ruled out inbreeding problems. When a grape seed germinated to form a seedling, a new grape variety was then created by this natural crossing. In the case of self-insemination (self-pollination), negative inbreeding effects result in the majority of cases in fewer offspring. Nature has protected itself from this, so to speak, by dioeciousness or self-sterility. This is because fertilisation with foreign genes leads to positive heterosis effects (changes compared to the parents) in the offspring.
Female grape varieties are very popular as mother varieties in the breeding of new varieties, as they do not have to be castrated and the lack of a male organ prevents undesirable self-insemination (self-pollination). Due to the necessary cross-pollination, however, they are yield-unstable and often tend to trickle. An advantage are larger berries, which is why female varieties are often used as table grapes. Fertilization is mainly by wind from nearby vines with the pollen of hermaphroditic flowers. In case of need, one plants in the vineyard strong flowering varieties as cross-pollinators, which stand in or next to the row. Relatively few vines are sufficient as pollen suppliers. However, the flowering time of the donor and recipient plant must be approximately the same (pollen is usually ripe somewhat earlier than the flower stigma). Many rootstock vines are also purely female or male, because their fruit yield is not important.
The all-female grape varieties described in this wine dictionary are Alba Imputotato, Angur Kalan, Ardonnet, Arna-Grna, Bagrina, Barry, Bermestia Bianca, Bicane, Black Morocco, Blanc d'Ambre, Blatina, Blauer Augster, Bratkovina Crna, Brighton, Camaralet de Lasseube, Cavus, Cetinka, Claverie Coulard, Coarnă Neagra, Coarnă Rosie, Dattier Noir, Dišeca Ranina, Doux d'Henry, Dr. Deckerrebe, Duchess of Buccleugh, François Noir, Fredonia, Fry, Grk, Hartblau, Hebén, Higgins, Hunt, Jumbo, Katta Kurgan, Kefessiya, Kéknyelü, Kharistvala Meskhuri, Kober 5 BB, Kontegalo, Kossuth Lajos, Krkošija, Krona, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lindley, Madeleine Angevine Madeleine x Angevine 7672, Maratheftiko, Marufo, Moscatel Rosado, Munson, Negru Virtos, Ohanes, Ouliven, Palestina, Paugayen, Picolit, Plechistik, Pukhliakovsky, Querol, Rosenmuskateller (1), Șarbă, Sary Pandas, Black Heunisch, Scuppernong, Severny, Seyanets Malengra, Solonis, St. Pepin, Skylopnichtis, Sysak, Tavkveri, Taylor, Tigvoasa, Tintora, Torrontés Mendocino, White Augster, Zarya Severa and Cinnamon Grape.