En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - June 02, 2009

From: Medway, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Do all tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipifera) flower?
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Do all tulip trees flower? We planted a baby one about 5 years ago and its grown considerably however it has never flowered. Is that normal? Thank you!


Yes, your Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree or yellow-poplar) should produce flowers, but I'm afraid you are going to have to wait a bit longer.  According the US Forest Service they produce their first blooms at 15 to 20 years of age. You can count on blooms for a long time after they start, though, since they may continue blooming for 200 years.  Here is a little more information from the Floral Genome Project.


Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera



More Trees Questions

Registered/patented pecan by Foster W. Fort
August 01, 2010 - Hello, we own a historic house museum once owned by the Fort family of Waco, and have learned that Foster W. Fort developed a type of pecan tree and had an orchard somewhere here around Waco (possibly...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees to protect beehives in Godley TX
April 06, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is there a (relatively) fast growing native small tree or large shrub (NOT cedar) that tolerates Johnson County clay, full sun, sometimes damp and sometimes dry soil with no...
view the full question and answer

Non-native jade plants and spider plants beneath Mayberry tree in Bay Point CA
October 15, 2013 - I have a fruitless Mayberry in my back yard that's about 50/50' can I plant jade and spider plants under it? The tree is very healthy.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
August 02, 2014 - I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being d...
view the full question and answer

Is a Brandywine Maple messy from Westchester IL
November 06, 2011 - Brandywine Maple: Does this tree produce sap, seeds or flower? As a home owner I can't afford more maintenance with clogged gutters or a sap covered car. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center