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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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Sunday - September 30, 2007

From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification, possibly genus Lonicera
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My friend found a plant growing in her timber (in Iowa). It has round green leaves with groups of green balls (seed pods?) growing in the center of the leaves. The stems appear to attach to the centers of the leaves. She says its a vine, but in the picture she gave me it looks like a shrub-type.

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like something in the honeysuckle family (Family Caprifoliaceae). Here are three honeysuckles that are native to Iowa that have rounded leaves with the stem attached to the center of the leaves. They also produce fruit in the center of the leaf where the flower bloomed. Although the ripe berries of these honeysuckles are usually red, the immature fruit are greenish.

1. Lonicera dioica (limber honeysuckle) and another set of photos of Lonicera dioica

2. Lonicera reticulata (grape honeysuckle) and another set of photos of Lonicera reticulata

3. Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) and another set of photos of Lonicera sempervirens

If none of these happens to be the plant your friend found, please send us a photo and Mr. Smarty Plants will do his collective best to identify the plant. You can find instructions for submitting photos on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page in the lower right corner under "Plant Identification".


Lonicera dioica

Lonicera sempervirens

 

 

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