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 Edible Plants Questions

Need source of plants for making teas in Bend, Oregon.
July 08, 2012 - I love to make my own tea, just moved to central Oregon and want to know some good plants I can find anywhere in town and can use in my teas.
view the full question and answer

Lindheimer's Muhly Grass Seeds for Human Use?
July 07, 2016 - Does anyone know if Lindheimer's Muhly seeds were ever used as human food source?
view the full question and answer

Bitterness in cucumbers
June 24, 2006 - Bitter Cukes: We have a question about Burpless Burpee cucumbers. We've planted them with success several years in a row in our Austin backyard. This year, although the cucumbers look fine, they a...
view the full question and answer

A garlic plant with only one clove in Ft. Worth, TX?
August 08, 2011 - Is there a garlic that does not have cloves? I have been using what appears to be garlic from my garden and it is garlicy, hot and delicious. I have spent many hours online but cannot find this garlic...
view the full question and answer

List of edible weeds from El Paso TX
April 27, 2013 - Where can I find a list of edible weeds that grow in El Paso, TX.
view the full question and answer

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