En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 05, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Non-berrying possumhaw from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted a possumhaw 8 to 10 years ago for the beautiful winter color, it has never set berries. I see tiny white flowers along the branches each spring, and always hope this will be the year, but I'm repeatedly disappointed. I now have additional possumhaws sprouting up all around it, it's never showed signs of distress. Why won't it set berries?

ANSWER:

Sorry, we don't even have to look this one up. Two questions for you (you don't have to answer us)

1. Did it have berries on it when you bought it? Then, it is a female and you have no male plants within flirting distance. It is usually pollinated by bees and they can fly some distance but no males, no flowers.

2. If it did not have berries on it when you bought it, it is a male and will never have berries on it.The insignificant flowers in the spring are characteristic of males.

The thing is, most of the yaupons that are sold in nurseries are clones. They clone females and make sure they are pollinated before they go to the sales floor, so they sell, and then that's over. It is very difficult to purchase male possumhaw, because everyone wants berrying plants. The possumhaws sprouting up around are probably males, too, as this plant can also propagate itself by vegetative reproduction.

Here are some previous answers on this subject, most of which are simply repetitive:

From Austin

From Smithville, TX

From Georgetown. TX

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

More Propagation Questions

Tiger lilies for Austin
July 12, 2007 - My dear friend absolutely loves tiger lilies, and I would love to plant some for her, but I wonder if the short winters here in Austin, TX make growing these difficult.. I know little of growing flowe...
view the full question and answer

Bulbils on Turks cap lily
July 21, 2005 - My Turks cap lily has dark pea size growths at the bass of each leaf. Are these the seeds? How and when do I harvest seeds from this plant?
view the full question and answer

Should a bloom stalk be cut down in Yuma AZ?
May 07, 2010 - I have a plant in my front yard that looks like an aloe vera. It doesn't have any thorns or needles but does have a tall stalk like stem coming from the middle of it. The "stalk" is now approx. 5'...
view the full question and answer

Improving Bluebonnet seed contact with soil
November 06, 2015 - I have a five acre field in Blanco County, much of which is covered by bluebonnets. There are several species of native grasses as well. Would it be beneficial to disk or otherwise disturb the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of evergreen sumac by cuttings from Cedar Creek TX
March 02, 2011 - I seek an ”Evergreen Sumac” propagation method by cuttings.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center