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

Fast-growing medium-sized tree for New Jersey
July 06, 2013 - I'm looking for trees to put on a slight slope that will do well in rocky clay soil. I 'm in N.J. zone 6. The spot is full sun and would like a fast grower 50 ft high maximum. I'm replacing white p...
view the full question and answer

Shumard oak or live oak in Waco TX?
October 02, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I planted 2 small Shumard oaks in my front yard (east side of the house, 8-9 hours of sun per day) 18 months ago. Both had been purchased from a national chain store's garden ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around salt water pool
June 27, 2013 - What are some plants that will grow around my salt water pool where there is some salt water runoff occasionally.
view the full question and answer

Chlorotic disease in scrub oak from Katy TX
July 04, 2013 - Please tell me how to treat my scrub oak as it has chlorotic disease. Parts of the tree are fine and others have yellow leaves. It has not been injured in any way.
view the full question and answer

Will Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) be toxic to chickens?
July 25, 2010 - We are considering planting Carolina Cherry Laurels around our yard for dense hedging purposes. We are concerned because we have a small flock of free-ranging chickens who eat every seed and leaf in ...
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