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

Monday - February 08, 2010

From: Shiro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: How to determine the gender of wax myrtles from the WFC?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills and Sean Watson

QUESTION:

Mr.Smarty Plants, have the wax myrtles that are up for sale at the Center's Spring Plant sale been sexed? I need a male plant. How can the sex be determined when the plant is young? Or can it?

ANSWER:

I posed this question to Sean Watson, our nursery manager, and received this reply:

The ones the WFC has grown are from seed (all of the 4 inch and one gallon size wax myrtles) and are therefore males and females. The larger 5 gallon size wax myrtles are supplied by other wholesale nurseries and are from cuttings so they are all female. My thinking is that most folks want this plant for a screen or because it is evergreen, and will not mind having some with berries and some without since the berries are not the most significant in terms of size/color.  I hope that answers your question!

Generally, the sex of a plant can't be determined until the plant flowers, which can take several years.

On the bright side, there is evidence to suggest that on some female plants, some male (staminate) flowers do occur among the female (pistilate) flowers so that some pollination can occur in the population in spite of the lack of male plants.

 

More General Botany Questions

Water Use Versus Soil Moisture
October 14, 2014 - In the Native Plant Database, under Growing Conditions what is the difference between water use and soil moisture? Sometimes they seem contradictory.
view the full question and answer

Question about male muscadine plants
June 01, 2012 - I have 9 muscadine plants, 3 females and 6 perfect flowered growing in my yard. A plant started growing under my porch lst year and it grew through the spaces between the boards. It grew nicely. It fl...
view the full question and answer

Trillium phototropism
May 16, 2010 - I'm SURE you haven't had this question before. I live in northern Michigan in a wooded subdivision where we have clouds of wild grandiflorum trilliums growing in the woods on either side of the roa...
view the full question and answer

Checklist of native plants
March 03, 2008 - I have recently submitted my membership. I would like to know if there is a complete list of wildflowers, that one may check off as they are seen, such as the birders check off their lifetime list.
view the full question and answer

Manzanita struggling in CA
March 01, 2012 - I live in Monterey, CA and I have had a manzanita (either Dr. Hurd or Mt. Hood) growing successfully in my yard for about 4 years. This fall all the leaves turned brown and brittle. I am not sure if d...
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