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

Friday - May 14, 2010

From: Durham, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Trees
Title: How to tell the girls from the boys in wax myrtles (Morella cerifera)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How would I be able to identify whether my wax myrtles are male or female plants? I was given two plants last fall (that came from a family members back yard) and the person who gave them to me didn't remember if these specific ones ever have bloomed before. Now in my yard, they are both doing well but not flowering and now that I've learned that you need both male and female plants in order to get blooms/berries, but my questions is this: How do I know if I have females that haven't bloomed because there is no male around or males that haven't bloomed because they never do? Many thanks!

ANSWER:

The thing is that if they haven't bloomed or produced berries, you can't tell which is which in Morella cerifera (wax myrtle).  Both male and female plants have flowers, but only the females will produce the berries.  You can see photos of the two types of flowers on this Duke University page.  Perhaps your plants aren't old enough to have flowered.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the average age of flowering for this plant.


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

More Trees Questions

Small trees for property edge in Katy TX
April 16, 2012 - By deed restriction, I must have five trees on the side of my small suburban lot just west of Houston, TX. Due to the lot layout, the trunks are only about 8-10 feet from the house, with the trees abo...
view the full question and answer

Are palm tree seeds toxic?
July 08, 2011 - Are palm tree seeds toxic to other plants? I have palm trees around my pool and it seems that nothing will grow very good where the old seeds are in the ground.
view the full question and answer

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Male and female Ilex decidua ( Possumhaw) trees
May 18, 2015 - I was excited to finally find and purchase a male and female possum haw pair via Amazon. (Berry Poppins variety). They were marked male-female and are thriving. But the male has little flowers and the...
view the full question and answer

Brown circular ring in trimmed branches of redbud tree
January 22, 2009 - I have a redbud tree that was recently trimed back. When looking at the cross section of the branches, I noticed a brown circular ring. Is this a problem and if so what can I do to correct it?
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