Asexual reproduction is the type of reproduction in which the presence of a sperm and an egg--or any natural equivalent--s not required. It is used by a lot of plants for perpetuating themselves; some species even have the option of reproducing themselves both sexually and asexually, selecting a method based upon the environment that they live in.
Asexual reproduction results in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent. These offspring are produced by mitosis, rather than meiosis--which occurs in sexual reproduction.
Plants that reproduce asexually are multicellular organisms, although the majority of asexual reproduction takes place within single-celled organisms. This makes plants that reproduce asexually unusual--as they are more genetically complicated.
Fragmentation is a form of asexual reproduction. In this process, distinct pieces of the parent are used to produce offspring. Fragmentation is used as a dispersal mechanism for many plant species and is especially useful in windy areas where plants pieces can be dispersed easily.
Another common plant method of asexual reproduction is through spore dispersal. In this method, the spores produced by a species will mature into an adult species. Plants do not undergo one of the other common forms of asexual reproduction, known as binary fission. This process involves replication of DNA by a single-celled organism; the DNA then divides into two parts, creating cells with the same genetic makeup as the parent’s cell.
Budding is a form of asexual reproduction that is also carried out by multicelluar organisms. In this method a cell grows out of the body of the parent and eventually separates when it reaches a certain growth point. This form of reproduction can be seen in hydras and strawberries.
In asexual reproduction, every member of a population has the ability to reproduce, and the rate of reproduction is normally fast, compared to the slower sexual reproduction process. The energy requirement in asexual plants is also less far less compared to sexual reproduction.