En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Follow-up on Viburnum dentatum question

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
1 rating

Wednesday - September 24, 2008

From: Silver Spring, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation
Title: Follow-up on Viburnum dentatum question
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

This is a follow up to an earlier question, posted Sept 20, about Viburnum dentatum shrubs. I'm not sure I understand your answer. If the person having trouble getting berries went out and bought a Viburnum dentatum from an entirely different nursery several year later, and planted it nearby would they have a chance of avoiding the clone problem? (I have to admit the first question came from me, too!) The first time around I bought five of the cultivar "Blue Muffin." TThis time I'm thinking I should go to a small native plant nursery and look for one that isn't a cultivar. I have more space for another shrub right next to the hedgerow. Would that work? I want the berries because I want to feed birds. Thanks so much for the help.

ANSWER:

In reference to your first question, it does sound like you have a self-incompatibility problem since all your plants were bought at the same time and were the same "Blue Muffin" cultivar. Many plants exhibit self-incompatibility—a genetic trait produced by a gene that creates a chemical barrier when the pollen of a genetically identical plant falls on the carpel (female part). This chemical barrier prohibits the pollen from fertilizing the ovules and there will be no fruit.  V. dentatum plants are commonly propagated vegetatively from cuttings.  If they are propagated from the same stock, such as your cultivar "Blue Muffin" must have been, they are going to be genetically identical—in other words, clones.  So, you do need at least one plant that isn't a clone of your "Blue Muffin" plants to produce pollen that won't be chemically barred from fertilizing your flowers. The University of Connecticut site lists 8 cultivars of V. dentatum, including your "Blue Muffin", so there are other possibilities.  I recommend that you visit our National Suppliers Directory and enter your city to find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants.  You can visit their websites (if they list one) and/or telephone them to find out what cultivars they carry of V. dentatum.  Just to be on the safe side you might buy two completely different cultivars to plant.
 

More Propagation Questions

How to transplant agarita in Floresville, TX.
March 10, 2010 - How is the best way to propagate Agarita? I have acres of them in the pasture but want some for the house landscape and to grow. I was told they go dormant for a year if you dig them up to transplan...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for sale end of April in Schertz TX
February 13, 2009 - I am trying to raise some native plants for a fund-raiser .They need to be salable by the end of April. Something with flowers would be nice. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Revegetation with Rosa Woodsii in Heber UT
July 26, 2013 - I am using Woods Roses for a revegetation project (to stop trail short cutting) in a public picnic area. Growing them from seed was too slow so I am experimenting with transplanting and it is working ...
view the full question and answer

Native habitate sunlight as opposed to artificial light
March 26, 2006 - Does a plant grow best in sunlight or artificial light?
view the full question and answer

Repotting from 4-inch pots
April 18, 2006 - Hello. A week ago I purchased some native plants at the wildflower center plant sale. I would like to know how to repot these seedlling native plants. They are in 4" pots right now. I have as follows...
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