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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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Wednesday - July 23, 2008

From: Holiday, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Florida shrub with tiny green pumpkin-like fruit
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in Central Florida and have a fast-growing shrub with long stems. The leaves are similar to sassafras and from a distance the red flowers resemble those of a geranium. It has pods that look like tiny green pumpkins. It is not ver cold-hardy, but grows back quickly when pruned.Any idea what it is?


The fruits you describe sound like Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry), a native of South America, but its flowers are white, not red. If this isn't your plant, we would be happy to try to identify your plant if you would send us photos. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read the instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photos.



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