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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - June 11, 2013

From: Waynesville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: Do the male or female dogwoods have berries?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Does the male or female dogwood have berries?

ANSWER:

North American dogwoods, Cornus species, are all hermaphroditic with both male (stamens and anthers) and female (stigma, style and ovary) flower parts.  The female parts (ovaries) produce the berries but since all the Cornus species in North America are hermaphroditic, they will all have berries.  According to the Flora of China all members of the Family Cornaceae are hermaphroditic with the exception of the African species that are dioecious (separate trees for male flowers and female flowers).  In the case of the African species those with the female flowers will produce the fruit—the berries.

You can see the Cornus species that occur in North America on the USDA Plants Database.   Those shown in maps with blue states are the North American species.  The ones shown in dark gray on the maps are naturalized non-natives.  You can read about and see photos of most of those Cornus species in our Native Plant Database.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

Flowering dogwood
Cornus florida

Roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii

Redosier dogwood
Cornus sericea ssp. sericea

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