En Español

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

Leaves falling off recently transplanted mature Mountain Laurel
July 05, 2006 - I have recently purchased a Mountain Laurel for my backyard landscaping. It is a fully matured ML standing over 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide. Since it was planted (about 6 weeks ago) it has been losin...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Propagating Magnolia grandiflora from Murfreesboro TN
August 03, 2011 - There are several Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia) that have been planted in my neighborhood in middle Tennessee by a landscaping company, and now that they all appear to be producing seeds, ...
view the full question and answer

No female, hence, no squash.
September 07, 2008 - This is not a wild flower but. My grandchildren left a squash outside in a corner of a flower bed. This spring it grew. There are only male flowers, many of them, but no female, hence, no squash. Why...
view the full question and answer

Planting time for native yucca seeds
August 11, 2008 - When and how do you plant yucca plant seeds and or/pods ? I took them off of the stalks when I cut the stalks today .
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center