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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.

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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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

 

 

 

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