En EspaŅol

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
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
2 ratings

Monday - June 02, 2008

From: Alexandria, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Is Ilex glabra Shamrock a female cultivar
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have an ilex glabra "shamrock". Is it a FEMALE cultivar? I have only found information that the "compacta" and the "nigra" are females. I have a male ilex glabra and was hoping to have berries for the wildlife.Thanks.

ANSWER:

It is not absolutely clear from the information available whether Ilex glabra 'Shamrock' is female or can be either male or female. Missouri Botanical Gardens is somewhat ambiguous about whether 'Shamrock' can be either male or female. On the other hand they do say that 'Compacta' is a female cultivar and the University of Connecticut Horticulture site also says that 'Compacta' is a female cultivar. The University of Ohio Horticulture site also says the 'Nordic' (or 'Chamzin') is a male cultivar. Ohio State University and Floridata both have the same information about 'Compacta' and 'Nordic'. None of these sites designate 'Shamrock' as either male or female, so I suspect that 'Shamrock' could have either male or female flowers. You would have to wait until it blooms to be certain. Duke University has good photos of the male flowers of Ilex glabra. I couldn't find a photograph of female flowers, but you can see a line drawing of both male (right) and female (left) flowers on the USDA Plants Database. Male flowers appear in clusters. Female flowers are single. You do need a female plant in order to get berries so if you want an Ilex glabra (inkberry) with berries, you might look for a 'Compacta' cultivar.


Ilex glabra

Ilex glabra

 

 

More Trees Questions

Privacy Trees for New Jersey
March 02, 2011 - My neighbor elevated a row of white pine between our houses at least 20 feet high leaving me with NO privacy and a row of ugly lollipops. What trees can I plant that will be fast growing and deer resi...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing "climbing" tree.
February 12, 2009 - I live in Northern Virginia. My children would love for me to plant a "climbing" tree - short trunk, nice spread of limbs. Can you recommend a tree that could grow to meet this requirement in abou...
view the full question and answer

Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
view the full question and answer

Trees for small spaces from San Jose CA
May 09, 2011 - What tree can you plant in a corner of a yard 3ft from a fence? What is the best shade tree for a small yard with a pool?
view the full question and answer

Does Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) have agressive roots?
November 30, 2014 - Hello, Do you know if the Huisache tree has an aggressive root system? I have a few in proximity to my septic draining field and I need to know if I should cut them down to prevent clogging of t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center