Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Identification of large egg-like objects on vines in Texas
April 17, 2010 - This past weekend we were at our deer lease in Hext,TX. My children and I went exploring along the banks of the San Saba river and found what we originally thought were some type of turtle or turkey e...
view the full question and answer

Mystery berries on vine in Montgomery County, TX
August 09, 2013 - While out in the woods today on Caney Creek near Grangerland, Texas, I found what I thought to be some grapes on a vine hanging down from a tree. I brought the vine down, but when I got it home to pr...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of blackberry from Williamsport PA
January 18, 2014 - I have been told that if you cut a branch off of a black berry bush and stick it in water for a few days, and then put it in the ground it will grow into another bush. Please tell me if this is true a...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of growing Smilax pumila (Wild Sarsaparilla Vine in Virginia
June 13, 2006 - Hello, I am inquiring about a plant my grandmother keeps telling me about. It's called sarasee (sp?). It's supposed to have some medicinal properties like helping with a cold and things of that nat...
view the full question and answer

Prickly vine for fire escape in Boston
February 23, 2010 - I live in Boston area and would like to plant a prickly vine that will grow on my fire escape. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

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