However, parthenocarpy of some fruits on a plant may be of value. Up to 20% of the fruits of wild parsnip are parthenocarpic. The seedless wild parsnip fruit are preferred by certain herbivores so serve as a "decoy defense" against seed predation. Utah juniper has a similar defense against bird feeding. Being able to produce seedless fruit when pollination is unsuccessful may be an advantage to a plant because it provides food for the plant's seed dispersers. Without a fruit crop, the seed dispersing animals may starve or migrate.
In some plants, such as seedless watermelon, pollination or other stimulation is required for parthenocarpy. This is termed stimulative parthenocarpy. Banana exhibits stimulative parthenocarpy because it is a triploid -meaning it is the result of a diploid and a tetraploid parent and therefore cannot produce seeds. Plants that do not require pollination or other stimulation to produce parthenocarpic fruit have vegetative parthenocarpy. Cucumber is an example of vegetative parthenocarpy.
Plants moved from one area of the world to another may not always be accompanied by their pollinating partner and the lack of pollinators has spurred human cultivation of parthenocarpic varieties. Some parthenocarpic varieties have been developed as genetically modified organisms.
When sprayed on flowers, any of the plant hormones, gibberellin, auxin and cytokinin, can often stimulate the development of parthenocarpic fruit. This is termed artificial parthenocarpy. Plant hormones are seldom used commercially to produce parthenocarpic fruit. Home gardeners sometimes spray their tomatoes with an auxin to assure fruit production.
Some parthenocarpic cultivars have been developed as genetically modified organisms.
Some parthenocarpic cultivars are of ancient origin. The oldest known cultivated plant is a parthenocarpic fig first grown at least 11,200 years ago.
In some climates, normally seeded pear cultivars will produce mainly seedless fruit.