A friend has two cherry bushes (prunus tomentosa). Prunus tomentosa is said to be partially self-fertile, but benefits from cross-pollination.

The two cherry bushes set fruit, and so my friend saves me two seeds. I plant the seeds at my house, which is miles away from his, and now have two bushes of my own. They are in bloom.

My cherry bushes are siblings. How will this impact their ability to pollinate?

  • $\begingroup$ I've used a specific species in my example, but that doesn't mean the answer needs to be species-specific. An answer about plants in general would be fine. $\endgroup$
    – User1974
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ You might get better results on the gardening site for your specific situation. @Remi.b's answer is good for the general biology but going into all the possibilities might be a little too broad. For example, for apples, it is common to add a granny smith tree since it crosses well with a lot of the other varieties people grow. However, if your friends' two bushes were either self-fertile or cross-fertile enough to set fruit I think you are likely in good shape. Another alternative would be if your friend is willing to give you cuttings from their bushes. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


In your case, your two bushes might well be half sib (the pollen might come from different donor) and one (or maybe even both) bush might result from selfing event. In any case, if the species is able to self, I don't see why full sib mating would cause any trouble.

Many species protect themselves from selfing. These plants are said to be self-incompatible. The evolution of the genetic mechanism underlying such self-incompatibility has been highly studied and is fascinating. The wikipedia article offers a good overview.


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