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

Plant ID from Chicago
August 18, 2010 - This plant is VERY common along highways across the entire midwest, and often other parts of the country. It has a long stem with a cluster of white flowers usually only on the top of the stem. The le...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
August 22, 2005 - On your home website there is an orange flower that is tall and has tall leaves. is it a cactus? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
view the full question and answer

Possible gourd vine growing in backyard in Camden, TN.
July 17, 2012 - I have a long green vine growing in my backyard. It's got green bulbs the size of kiwi on it and they're filled with white seeds. I would appreciate it if you guys could tell me what it is! Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Identification of pink flower near Austin
April 10, 2008 - My mother found a flower early this spring at Chrystal Falls park just outside of Austin. It was between red and salmon pink in color, tubular in shape and about 4 inches long. It smells very bad, a...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center