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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

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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Wednesday - July 16, 2014

From: Morgantown , WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Japanese Wineberry in Maryland
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Hello, we were at Cunningham Falls in Maryland and I can not identify this plant. If you could I would greatly appreciate it, thank you. It looks like a raspberry but the berries are inside small leaves with red fuzzy hairs. When the berry is picked it leaves behind an orangish-yellow star shape. The canes are red and fuzzy and the leaves are in groups of three and a medium green, shaped like a more rounded raspberry leaf. Thanks for your time.

ANSWER:

The plant that you found is Rubus phoenicolasius, the Japanese wineberry. Wikipedia says that the Japanese wineberry is native to northern China, Japan and Korea and was introduced to Europe and North America for its potential in breeding hybrid raspberries. It has subsequently escaped cultivation and has become naturalized and is sometime invasive in parts of Europe and eastern North America.
The National Parks Service has a good webpage on the Wineberry with images that will help you confirm your identification.

 

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