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

Wednesday - July 11, 2012

From: Logansport, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Pollinators, Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Petunias pollinated by clematis from Logansport IN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can petunias be pollinated by clematis? I have 2 petunias that have split blooms and look like a small clematis flower. They are growing close to a jackamani clematis.

ANSWER:

Clematis x jackmanii is a result of many hybridizations since the mid 1800's, and therefore will not appear in our Native Plant Database. We will look at a clematis native to Indiana to learn some of its traits. There are 3 members of the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) family that grow natively in Indiana. These are:

Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis)

Clematis viorna (Vasevine)

Clematis virginiana (Devil's darning needles)

Then we searched our database for petunias. Actually, we already know that the petunia native to North America is not likely to be the one you have in your garden. If you bought bedding plants in a large nursery, the petunias are hybridized many times over for shape and color, and originated in South America.  In botanical classification, tobacco, tomato, potato, and petunia are all in the family Solanaceae. There are about 35 species in the genus

There are 3 species of the native petunia native to Indiana, all members of the genus Ruellia and family Acanthaceae (Acanthus):

Ruellia caroliniensis (Carolina wild petunia)

Ruellia humilis (Fringeleaf wild petunia)

Ruellia strepens (Limestone ruellia)

So, to summarize, you are asking if members of the genus Petunia (non-native, family Solanaceae or the genus Ruellia (native petunia, family Acanthaceae) could cross breed with members of the native Clematis genus (family Ranunculaceae.)

The female flowers of each crop can be fertilized only by pollen from male flowers of the same species. So, we are looking at three different genera, families and species. Won't work.

If you study some of the information on the petunias and clematis, you will note they have many different forms, especially those that have been hybridized. It would seem that the similarities in your petunias and clematis are completely coincidental.

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple clematis
Clematis pitcheri

Vasevine
Clematis viorna

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Carolina wild petunia
Ruellia caroliniensis

Fringeleaf wild petunia
Ruellia humilis

Limestone ruellia
Ruellia strepens

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of non-native Selenicereus Antonyanus from Warwick RI
March 24, 2012 - I just purchased a Selenicereus Anthonyanus, Rick Rack Cactus unrooted. I have searched on the web of the proper way to root the plant and have had no luck except it says easy rooting but not how to r...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of hostas
September 06, 2005 - I have many different types of hostas in my yard. This year they bloomed abundantly and now have large pods where the blooms were which are full of seeds. My questions: 1. If I plant these pods, o...
view the full question and answer

Looking for seeds or plant of Fendlera wrightii
January 01, 2009 - How I can get a plant or a seed of Fendlera Wrightii, Texas native bush.
view the full question and answer

Propagating Pavonia seeds
October 10, 2013 - Could you please recommend a method for scarifying Pavonia seeds? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
April 24, 2011 - To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center