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

Tuesday - May 31, 2011

From: sonora, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: No Grapes on Vines in Sonora, CA
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

We have lived in our home since 2002 and have a grapevine that grows beautiful green lush leaves and vines every year but never has produced grapes. What can I do to get some grapes on this vine?

ANSWER:

You don't mention whether your grape is a native (wild) grape or a domesticated variety. Most natives of the genus Vitus are dioecious meaning the staminate (male) flowers and pistillate (female) flowers are borne on different plants. So, it is entirely possible that your plant is a male, which would explain the lack of grapes. Alternatively, your plant may be a female, but there aren't any males close enough by to provide the necessary fertilization.

A publication from the Universtiy of Wisconsin Extension Service says it is possible to determine if a grape plant is a male by closely examining the flowers and noting the abscence of the stigma, style and ovary. Here is a publication from the University of Illinois Extension service that has drawings showing the parts of a flower: Flower Parts.

During the thousands of years that people have been cultivating grapes, many of our domestic varieties have been selectively bred to have both male and female flowers on the same plant. This increases vineyard efficiency by eliminating all those unproductive males.

 

More Vines Questions

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

How many seeds in a Balsam Gourd fruit?
January 12, 2016 - How many seeds should I expect to find inside the fruit of Ibervillea Londoners?
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing native Celastrus scandens from non-native C. Orbiculatus from Lexington MA
June 08, 2014 - Dear Mr. Plants, I maintain a wildflower garden with the Lexington Field and Garden Club in Lexington, Massachusetts. Every year, I pull up sprouts of Celastris orbiulatis. I want to plan...
view the full question and answer

Should a mustang grape be left near live oak in Austin?
July 17, 2009 - I recently removed a huge mass of jasmine from a clump of live oaks. Inside I found a very large (12' long) exposed root of a mustang grape. I'd like to trim it back to the original clump and reta...
view the full question and answer

Attractive Native Vines to Cover a Chain Link Fence in Upstate New York
September 19, 2009 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants. I live in Upstate NY (Albany) and my yard is bordered by an old chain link fence. I would like to cover the fence with a natural looking plant (I assume Ivy). What do you ...
view the full question and answer

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