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

Thursday - May 23, 2013

From: Waterford, CA
Region: California
Topic: Edible Plants, Shrubs
Title: Non-fruiting Willamette raspberry plant in Wateford CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 2 year old Willamette Raspberry plant that has many blooms, bees, great growing conditions, very healthy but has never set one fruit. I know about pruning. Any suggestions? It has been blooming on the same canes for two years, has not been pruned ever, and has never set even one fruit. Talked with many nurseries, no one has a clue please help if you can.

ANSWER:

It took us a while, but after we found this BackyardGardener.com article on Rubus idaeus (Willamette raspberry), we discovered Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (Grayleaf red raspberry) in our Native Plant Database, which is apparently the same thing, with a trade name attached to it. Since we only recommend plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they evolved; in your case, Stanislaus Co., CA, in central California, this at least meant we could find out something about whether it is growing in the right place. Unfortunately, we could not find all that much information. We usually first refer to the USDA Plant Profiles, only to find that there was not county by county information on this plant from California. California, like Texas, has so many different elevations, ecosystems and soils that discovering if a plant is being grown in its own ideal environment is tricky.

We went to the Internet and really couldn't find a whole lot of definitive information. One thing we discovered was that fruit appeared on year-old canes. Possibly, since your plant is only two years old, it has not yet come to the fruiting age. On re-reading the first link we gave you above:

'Willamette' bears large, deep red, flavorful fruits in mid- to late summer. Raspberries are biennials that perform best in full sun with plenty of water and a good fertilizing when blooms begin."

According to our webpage (see plant link above) this plant blooms white from May to July, followed by fruit in late Summer to early Fall. Since it is not yet time for your plants to be fruiting this year,  perhaps you just need to wait a while. And look out for birds, they are waiting for the fruit, too.

Prescription: Patience.

 

From the Image Gallery


Grayleaf red raspberry
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Grayleaf red raspberry
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Grayleaf red raspberry
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

More Shrubs Questions

Problems with shrubs by pool in Bethesda, MD
February 24, 2012 - We are trying to grow Otto Luyken Laurels by a pool and doing okay, some brown spots on leaves, but not many. Also have Arbivatea beside the pool about 3 feet from the edge of the pool. They have a l...
view the full question and answer

What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
March 28, 2014 - Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy ...
view the full question and answer

Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
October 11, 2010 - When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen
view the full question and answer

Turk's Cap and Pavonia insect problems
June 27, 2015 - My Turk's cap and Pavonia lasiopetala (rock rose) plants both have quite a few leaves that are skeletonized in appearance. I do not see any insects on the underside of the leaves. What could be cau...
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants unlikely to provide good shade for rattlesnakes in TX
August 28, 2011 - I would like to plant native grass around my new home in the country near Mason, TX. My concerns are the rattlesnakes that are common here, and if they could "hide" in the native grasses since they ...
view the full question and answer

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