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?


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


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!


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 Propagation Questions

Propagation of Cordyline fruticosa from Port St. Lucie FL
July 23, 2010 - Hawaiian Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) I found 4 of these cut without roots. What is the best way to have them grow roots? Directly in water, moist soil, or regular soil...
view the full question and answer

Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
April 25, 2013 - I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Stump sprouting of Oak trees in the wildfire area in Bastrop, TX.
May 13, 2012 - We live in Bastrop, Texas, in the wildfire area. We lost all of our trees. The oak trees have "suckers" growing from the base of the burned tree that has been cut down. They look like little bushe...
view the full question and answer

Germinating Hibiscus martianus, Heartleaf hibiscus
June 11, 2013 - Is there some secret to getting Heart Leaf Hibiscus to germinate from seed? I have tried several times, but have had no luck getting them to germinate.
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas bluebells from seed
July 29, 2008 - I have a few Texas Bluebell seeds. I would like to grow these in my yard. What would be the best place..pot or flower bed? When should I plant? How to maintain?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center