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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 04, 2009

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: How can I distinguish between Wax Myrtle and Dwarf Wax Myrtle?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I need help identifying between a southern wax myrtle and a dwarf wax myrtle. I am after the bigger type and think my landscaper accidentally put in dwarves. How can I tell? I had 8 put in and their leaves are different, some serrate, some smooth, some narrower with no serrate while others are wider with serration.

ANSWER:

In the past, some botanical authorities considered Dwarf Wax Myrtle to be a botanical variety of Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) or Southern Wax Myrtle.  However, in recent years most botanists have come to realize that plants commonly called Dwarf Wax Myrtle are, in varying degrees, simply dwarf forms of Morella cerifera.  Many shrubby plant species tend to produce a wide range of plant sizes and growth habits.

Leaf serration and other visible characteristics are not always reliable indicators of form or ultimate size, but in general, the smaller the leaf, the smaller the plant tends to be.

Realizing this may not be a viable solution for you, the best way to ensure all plants are essentially the same is to asexually propagate one that has the desired characteristics.  For Wax Myrtle, propagation by cuttings or one of the methods of propagation by layering would be preferred.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Plants for heavy clay in Sonoma County, California
July 10, 2013 - Hi, I live in Northern California, Sonoma County, and would like to transition my front garden into mostly native plants. Trouble is, my soil is clay, yicky, heavy clay, and some of the natives I've ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
July 13, 2008 - I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will no...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a fast-growing evergreen shrub to use along a fence line to obscure unsightly surroundings in Douglassville, TX.
January 07, 2011 - I live in far East Texas (near Texarkana). I need a fast growing, thick evergreen shrub to plant along a fenceline to block out the unsightly "junkyard" my neighbors have going. Prefer something t...
view the full question and answer

Source for manzanita from Leakey TX
March 19, 2012 - Where can I buy manzanita plants in Texas?
view the full question and answer

Cake decorations with flowers
February 25, 2009 - Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center