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

Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a redbud in Boerne TX
August 29, 2012 - Hi there, My question is when is it safe to transplant a native tree? I have a redbud tree come up in m flower bed I want to try to transplant it instead of cutting it out. It is very young - maybe 4-...
view the full question and answer

Growth rate of mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
August 16, 2009 - What is the growth rate of Mesquite? How long does it take for Mesquite to achieve a 4-6 inch wide trunk? I can't seem to find this information.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for clay soil in Lathrop MO
March 21, 2011 - My family just moved to the north Kansas City, MO area and would like to know what native species, both perennial and tree, will do best in the clay soil. It has already proven problematic as we have ...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
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