Question about Rhus Typhina

catherinet(5 IN)June 21, 2013

I planted one of these about 10 years ago. Now its a huge stand of them. This is the first year I've noticed the yellow-green flower stalk on the oldest ones. From what I've read, I have all males. :( (Actually, also from what I've read, its pretty much all the same plant.......so I might have 1 huge male).

But one site said that on females, the yellow-green flowers start to turn red.
Is it still possible that I have females? Or do the females put out pinkish flowers to start with?
I'm not sure any nursery would guarantee a female of this plant. What do you think?
I sure wanted the berries though.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

If I understand right dioecous organisms like us and rhus typhkna are always the same sex. Now you can take your plant and in effect clone it by planting a cutting but it will still be an identical genetic make up to the parent.

So, if much like a house cat that gets out, if you have a female it can go out and get pollinated by a male then make babies for you. However if you have a boy cat it just won't come home and have kittens.

Curious, did you buy a named cultivar like the "tiger eyes" in a different thread or the general species?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 8:55PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks toronado,
I bought the general species. (that other post isn't by me).
I just wish nurseries would tell those of us who don't know any better, if they are male or female, or at least tell us they don't know which sex it is, but if its male, it will never have berries.
We have been growing this for 10 years, waiting for berries, and now we find out it will never happen.
Now I'll be in search of a female plant...........but we have about 50 of the males growing.
Is it possible that the yellow-green flowers will turn pink eventually, or do the female flowers always start out pink?

Don't get me wrong.......its still a great plant. It is a nectar source for alot of insects, and looks gorgeous in the Fall........but I did want some berries too.

I've been reading that its really hard to differentiate a young male from a female, and the best way to get a female is to go looking for ones that have berries in the late Fall/winter/early spring.....and ask the owner if you can dig up one.. So that's what I might do.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:35PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Well, this is encouraging. Mine is a cutleaf cultivar of the Typhina, I just read on one site that this is always female. I guess I'll just have to wait a month or so and see if it makes any berries. Although I haven't seen any other of these in this rural area, so I'm not sure even if it is female, that it will be pollinated.
Boy, I'm really confused now! haha

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:56PM
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