En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-berrying possumhaw from Austin

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

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

Junipers for restoring area in Bulverde TX
November 03, 2012 - Are ashe or virginiana junipers for sale around the hill country? I would like to recreate the natural plant life that was bulldozed next to my home. Do you recommend any other types of juniper that ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming iris leaves in Pickerington OH
June 08, 2010 - I recently trimmed the stems and leaves of my iris plants in late May - I realize now this was a bit early. The leaves are still about 3-4" out of the ground. I would like to half them and move som...
view the full question and answer

Need some information about wild native grapes in Gatlinburg, TN.
August 13, 2010 - We have some wild grapevines growing on a southern exposure eroded bank. They are providing assistance in reducing erosion with rapid growth. Do these plants develop ground contact as they grow? In...
view the full question and answer

Can two species of Muhlenbergia be cross-pollinated from Portal AZ
July 17, 2012 - Will Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Big Muhly) cross-pollinate with Muhlenbergia porteri (Bush Muhly)? I am attempting to restore the grasslands on my private property to a pre-1900 state. Bush Muhly was a...
view the full question and answer

Sagebrush for Westminster CO
August 06, 2010 - On a recent visit to Taos, NM we fell in love with the local sagebrush. We would like to plant this sagebrush in our yard. We are located near Denver Colorado. Would this plant survive and how do we g...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center