Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 07, 2006

From: Vienna, Austria, Other
Region: Other
Topic: Propagation
Title: Sapindus drummondii or Rhus aromatica for Austria
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Hy! I'm from Austria/Europe, and interested in some North American native plants specially. It would be great if you can help me with my two questions: Sapindus drummondii I read from different sources that it should be hardy to zone 6A. Is this true? And does it apply in general or just for northern origins? Do you know a seed source for Sapindus drummondii from regions with cold winters? Rhus aromatica: There are female and male plants, right? Can they be indentified before they reach blooming age? Sap.drummondii and Rhus aromatica: At what age do they bloom first? Thanks for this great service!

ANSWER:

As a representative of an organization dedicated to the promotion of native plants, I should first caution you that plants introduced into new regions have the potential to become invasives that over time could crowd out plants native to your region. Soapberry trees, for instance, tend to form groves once they become established, and sumacs have berries that many birds love, potentially causing them to spread far beyond their original planting site.

Western Soapberry, now known as Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii, is hardy to Zone 6A, reaching as far north as the southern half of Kansas and southwestern Missouri. Only those individuals from the northernmost reaches of the plant's range are likely to be able to withstand Zone 6 temperatures. For seed sources, go to our National Suppliers Directory's Seed Companies feature and enter Kansas or Missouri as the state or province. A list of potential seed sources will appear for you to contact.

Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica) does tend to have male and female flowers on separate plants, but the growers I contacted said they know of no way to identify gender on plants too young to flower.

Both plants should bloom in their second or third year, though this varies by region and local environment.
 

More Propagation Questions

Problems with Eves necklacepods (Styphnolobium affine)
March 25, 2008 - Mr. S-P, I urgently need your advice regarding two Eve's necklacepods that appear to be dying. They are in two completely different areas of my yard. One began leafing out and then the leaves sh...
view the full question and answer

Propagating American Beautyberry in Medina OH
October 05, 2009 - I brought home a small branch of American beautyberries when I was vacationing in N. Carolina. How do I go about planting them and will they survive in the Cleveland area?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting birdwing passionflower in Canyon, TX
April 17, 2009 - First, thank you for all your help! Second, I have two bird-wing passionflowers that are growing next to the house. I'd like to move them because this is the area where I want to put in some raise...
view the full question and answer

Protecting agave pups in San Antonio
April 23, 2013 - I would like to share the soon to happen bloom of two century plants on my property; they are sisters planted at the same time. I am sad to know they will die but will do all that I can to protect the...
view the full question and answer

Planting a pair of Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides for fruiting
October 19, 2008 - I'd like to plant a pair of witherod viburnums to improve their fruiting. Can I get the cross-pollination with a v. cassanoides together with a v. nudum? How close together do they need to be? (Ca...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.