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

Dictionary of botanical names
September 02, 2011 - I am looking for an online resource that will tell me what the botanical names mean, for example, Cornus florida. Why is it named that? Surely somewhere there is information that explains the meanin...
view the full question and answer

How do plants living in various climates differ?
February 25, 2008 - Do plants that live in different climates have different tecture or are they just totally different?
view the full question and answer

Will molasses harm beneficial organisms in my garden?
April 06, 2009 - If I use molasses in the garden, I am hoping this will NOT kill the beneficial nematodes and my earth worms, or other good bugs such as lady bugs? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Is Bushy Knotweed carcinogenic from West Grove PA
September 06, 2012 - Is the invasive Bushy Knotweed / PORA3 / Polygonum ramosissimum toxic to the extent that the spores are carcinogenic?
view the full question and answer

Halophytic biofilter plants native to Wisconsin
July 12, 2013 - I am trying to design a biofilter using native WI plants. These plants must be very salt tolerant and low maintenance (as this biofilter will be used to treat storm water runoff from a salt shed), so ...
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