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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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Monday - July 28, 2008

From: Milford, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of red raspberry-like berries in Connecticut
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found some edible berries today in the woods that look like raspberries, are red like raspberries, but don't taste like them at all. They're very shiny red, remove easily from the bush. The flavor ranges from mildly sweet to sour, but tastes very nice with a little sugar, although they have a nondescript flavor. The branches have thorns but are mostly fuzzy, especially where the berries form. When you remove the berry, there is an orange-colored appendage sticking out. Any idea what kind of berry this is? I was so excited to find them. The web has been very unhelpful.

ANSWER:

I suspect that you might have found one of the two introduced species that occur in Connecticut:

1. Rubus illecebrosus (strawberry raspberry) introduced, a native of the mountains of Japan.

Here are photos and more information and more photos and information.

2. Rubus phoenicolasius (wine raspberry) introduced, native of Japan, Korea and China

Listed in the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group list of Least Wanted plants and on the Invasive Species list. It also occurs on the Mid Atlantic EPPC (Exotic Plant Pest Council) list of invasive species.

Here are the native raspberries found in Connecticut:

Rubus idaeus (American red raspberry) native. More information and photos.

Rubus idaeus ssp. idaeus (American red raspberry) native.

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (grayleaf red raspberry) native. More information and photos.

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry) native. More information and photos.

Rubus odoratus (purpleflowering raspberry) native, also called thimbleberry. More information and photos.

Rubus odoratus var. odoratus (purpleflowering raspberry) native.


Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Rubus odoratus

 

 

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