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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - January 02, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pollinators, Shrubs
Title: Do female possumhaws require male to bloom?
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Do female possumhaws require a male nearby to bloom? I've read that about yaupon hollies, but not possumhaws specifically. Thanks.


They don't require a nearby male to bloom, but they do in order to fruit. Both Ilex decidua (possumhaw) and Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) are members of the Ilex genus and are in the Aquifolaceae, or holly, family. All members of this genus are dioecious, which means a male must be present, of the same species and blooming at the same time, in order for the female to be pollinated and produce berries. There need be only one male for several females, but it should be within 30 or 40 feet of the females. Bees are the pollinators of these plants, and you don't want them to have to go too far to put down the pollen. 

Ilex decidua

Ilex decidua

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria




More Pollinators Questions

Honeybees swarming around galls on oak trees
September 28, 2015 - A large number of honeybees have descended on a live oak tree in my backyard. They appear to be feeding on the numerous galls on the tree as if they were flowers. What's going on?
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
view the full question and answer

Effect on taste of honey from pollen gathered by honeybees in Appleton WI
March 09, 2014 - in the flower box.. We are planting perennial or self-planting annuals on our fields and open areas to feed honey bees for our apiary. We found a source and then lost it telling what effect these wil...
view the full question and answer

When may I remove seed heads from yuccas?
June 07, 2010 - Soft tip yuccas dominate my home's landscape. When is the best time to remove the heavy seed heads after flowering? In addition to being difficult to work around, the pods seem to attract infestatio...
view the full question and answer

Artist's project on protecting pollinators in Austin
February 26, 2011 - I am designing a citywide artist's project to protect and preserve local, natural pollinators (with an emphasis on honeybees). What nectar-rich plants would you recommend for this type of project? ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center