En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 21, 2008

From: Chesapeake, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Seeds and Seeding
Title: Camellia seeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants; I have a Camellia plant that has bulbs that look like they could be fruit. And when this bulb opened, four or five little nuts came out. Are they fruit or nuts and can they be eaten or used for something else. These plants flower in the fall. Thank you very much for your time.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants’ expertise is limited to plant species native to North America, their habitats and cultivation.  There are two camellias native to North America, Stewartia malacodendron (silky camellia) and Stewartia ovata (mountain camellia), but I suspect that you are referring to either Camellia japonica (camellia) or  Camellia sasanqua (sasanqua camellia), both of which are native to China and Japan.

What you are referring to is the seed pod from last year's bloom—the structure shown in the lower left of this botanical drawing of Camellia japonica.  The little nuts are the seeds of the plant.  Mr. Smarty Plants certainly wouldn't recommend eating them even though these plants don't appear in the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina nor any of the other of our favorite toxic plant databases.  Since they are seeds, they have the potential to grow into new Camellia plants if you plant them.  However, since they are not native to North America, we really don't have any ready information about germination and propagation.  Mr. Smarty Plants recommends that you visit Tom Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk for information on germination and you can also search the internet for more information about seed germination and propagation.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which w...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating invasive, non-native chameleon plant from Omaha NE
April 11, 2011 - I have been attempting to eradicate the chameleon plant in my gardens for 3 years. I have sprayed Round Up and covered with newspaper then mulch and it is coming back again this year! I am wondering...
view the full question and answer

What causes peach fruit to ooze sap?
July 27, 2009 - I have a peach tree at our new house. The peaches are small and yellow but appeared healthy. Now it looks like they are oozing or weeping sap out of several places on each one. I dont know if its a di...
view the full question and answer

How to eradicate non-native invasive Houttuynia cordata from Muskogee OK
March 20, 2011 - I have planted a very invasive plant called houttuynia and cannot get rid of it! It is very stinky and the stems break off easily at the roots. I cannot dig it up anymore - it is all over in my flow...
view the full question and answer

Moving School House lilies in Austin
March 02, 2009 - I live here in Austin in zipcode 78729. I have a clump of School House lilies in the back of the garden. I would like to move them to another bed under a tree. Is this a good time to move them? Should...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center