Winterfat Puzzle

On a nice autumn day Winterfat, a native desert shrub, catches the slanting sun and is truly a thing of beauty. The Winterfat in this photo is full of seed. In the wild such plants provide valuable forage–‘fat’–for critters, thus the name.
The puzzle is: Why in my garden is this particular Winterfat so fuzzy and full of seed and other examples of Winterfat are not fuzzy at all?
I made a brief excursion on the internet to pose the question: Is Winter monoecious (male and female flowers on the same plant) or dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants).
If some Winterfat plants in my garden are males and others (like this one) are females, that would explain why they look so different right now.
Here are some answers to the puzzle:
Winterfat plants
 “are dioecious”
 “are monoecious . . .and occasionally they are dioecious.”
are “monoecious or dioecious”.
Wow! Who knew that plants could be one or the other, either/or? This is the kind of little surprise that make amateur botany such an adventure.

October 22, 2021