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?

Share

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
1 rating

Thursday - October 22, 2009

From: Westchester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Winterberry holly not fruiting
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Regarding Ilex verticillata, which I have planted in a partial sun, somewhere between all dry and all wet location, i don't see any red berries, and it's mid-october. We are in the 'burbs of just outside NYC. When they were planted a year ago, they did have a few berries on the branches. It has been a wet, wet, wet summer and fall for that matter. Any help would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

All Ilex plants are dioecious, which means that the male and female parts of the flowers are on different plants.  That means that in order to have holly berries there must be a male holly blooming within a pollinator's reach of a female plant.

When you planted your plant it had berries on it as a result of it having been pollinated in the spring at the nursery where the "boys" were close by.  As long as you know the name of the cultivar you purchased, the nursery where you bought it should be able to provide you with the appropriate male plant. Once you have the male, you should be back in the berry business as it sounds like the plant is happy otherwise and placed in the right environment to thrive.

Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)


Ilex verticillata
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Picture for plant identification from Danville PA
May 30, 2013 - Is there a way that I could send a picture of a plant for identification?
view the full question and answer

Mystery dill-type weed
September 01, 2008 - My daughter has a weed growing in her flower bed that look very simular to dill weed, but thicker. If you pinch it, it has a sticky milky substance come out. Can you tell me what this plant may be? ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant with yellow flowers in Michigan.
July 14, 2009 - Would you know what this perennial is? The plant has a reddish colored stem, the leaves are long and narrow, approx 31/2 inches long, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. The buds are long approx 2 inches, a...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Boise ID
July 18, 2012 - I have a plant growing in my bed which resembles a dandelion.. the problem is that it is really tall. Would you be able to take a look at a picture to identify it?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of yellow daisy-like flowers blooming in Austin
October 25, 2010 - What is the name of the yellow daisy-like bush that is blooming now all over the Hill Country of Texas? The plant varies from 3 to 5 feet. The petals on the bloom vary from 8 to 10. The flowers are...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center