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?


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
3 ratings

Saturday - September 20, 2008

From: Silver Spring, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Shrubs
Title: Failure of Viburnum dentatum to produce berries in Maryland
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I planted several Viburnum dentatum shrubs in a hedgerow for my yard. Although I have some other viburnums in the yard, this shrub blooms profusely but does not ever produce berries. What can I do to encourage the berries? I have tons of pollinating insects, and everything else in the yard produces well.


We got the following information from a Floridata website on Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood):

"You can expect arrow-wood to flower every spring, but you may not get many fruits if you have only one plant. Many viburnums exhibit self-incompatibility, which means that they cannot pollinate themselves. To get fruits, you need two different seedling plants - two vegetative clones of the same plant will not suffice."

We're not sure what you can do about this. If you purchased all your shrubs from a nursery at the same time, they are almost inevitably all clones. And since most commercially-sold woody plants are produced vegetatively, that is, by rooting cuttings or creating clones, you might have a lot of trouble finding a seed-produced plant to pollinate your viburnums. In fact, if they are all clones, even one seedling plant would probably not be sufficient, as the article says it takes two different seedling plants. Enjoy the flowers on your viburnums.

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum

Viburnum dentatum



More Shrubs Questions

Lack of Blooms and Low Hanging Limbs on Mountain Laurels
August 06, 2014 - My mountain laurel didn't bloom this year but has a few hard pods on it. It is 9 ft tall but very top heavy with most growth low. I need to prune it a lot at the bottom because it has branches hangi...
view the full question and answer

Shrub with red two-globed berries
June 15, 2012 - I am looking for the name of a red berry with 2 globes attached to each other on a plant with small soft oval shaped leaves.I live in Maryland and they are maturing now. These bushes are in the park ...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of Amyris madrensis or Amyris texana growing in Dallas
September 07, 2007 - I live in the central city of Dallas, in the heart of the urban heat island (zone 8b). I am interested in Amyris madrensis and A. texensis. Will they survive winter here? Would they make a good eve...
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for landscape in Kansas
April 20, 2013 - I am intersted in small shrubs for the landscaping in front of our house located in Topeka,KS. Many of the shrubs I looked at are 5 foot in width in height. The plants will receive morning sun.
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Roses and Fruit Trees in NC
April 20, 2015 - Hello, I am planning a house on Lake Gaston in North Carolina (to be built) and will need to establish a new garden on the cleared lot. I would like to focus on native plants, but I love a cutting ga...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center