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

Sunday - June 30, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Does Nolina lindheimeriana have separate male and female plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

RE: NOLINA LINDHEIMERIANA You show several pictures, with flowers & with seed pods. I have one plant that has only flowers and one that has only seed pods. Are they male and female? I don't see anything mentioned in the info about?

ANSWER:

According to the Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas by Donovan Correll and Marshall Johnston (1979), Nolina lindheimeriana (Devil's shoestring) and all species in the Genus Nolina are polygamo-dioecious.   Their Glossary (pp. 1745-1764) defines polygamo-dioecious as: "Polygamous but chiefly dioecious."  To understand that definition you need to know that their definition for:

  • polygamous:  "Bearing unisexual and bisexual flowers on the same plant."
  • dioecious:  "Having staminate and pistillate flowers in different plants."

You can see pictures of the flowers on Frio Canyon Nature webpage.

Here are more photos from the Image Archive of Central Texas Plants from the University of Texas and here is a photo of a bee pollinator on the blossom of N. linheimeriana.

To answer the question about your particular plants, the one with seed pods either had pistillate (female) flowers or perfect flowers (pistillate and staminate structures in the same flower) to produce the seed pods.

If the plant with flowers hasn't/doesn't eventually produce seed pods, then either all its flowers were staminate (male) flowers or they were pistillate or perfect flowers that were not successfully pollintated.

 

From the Image Gallery


Devil's shoestring
Nolina lindheimeriana

Devil's shoestring
Nolina lindheimeriana

Devil's shoestring
Nolina lindheimeriana

More General Botany Questions

Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
December 23, 2012 - Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
view the full question and answer

What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
August 29, 2013 - One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large pric...
view the full question and answer

How to determine the gender of wax myrtles from the WFC?
February 08, 2010 - Mr.Smarty Plants, have the wax myrtles that are up for sale at the Center's Spring Plant sale been sexed? I need a male plant. How can the sex be determined when the plant is young? Or can it?
view the full question and answer

Question about male muscadine plants
June 01, 2012 - I have 9 muscadine plants, 3 females and 6 perfect flowered growing in my yard. A plant started growing under my porch lst year and it grew through the spaces between the boards. It grew nicely. It fl...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a hillside in WI
February 18, 2012 - I live in Wisconsin and am currently doing a research project on plant variation on the north and south sides of a hill. I was wondering you could suggest any books to me that would address this issue...
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.

Bibliography

Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center