Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - August 14, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify a plant I saw this past weekend in San Diego, California. It was a low growing shrub planted along the road near a beach. The flowers looked like large star jasmine, leaves were bigger and tougher looking. It was thorny and had a red fruit that looked like large plums. Sorry I do not have a photo. Thank you for any information.

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants thinks your description sounds a lot like the plant we were recently asked to identify in a photo that we were sent.  The plant in the photo was  Carissa macrocarpa (Natal Plum). The gentleman who sent us the photo said the plant was growing in Baja California, but said the plant in the photo came originally from Santa Barbara, California.  It was introduced to Santa Barbara, however, since it is a South African native.  If this doesn't look like the plant you saw, let us know and we'll give it another try; however, without a photo it will be more difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Is Texas Mountain Laurel what I planted in Magnolia TX?
March 21, 2010 - I think I planted Texas Mt. Laurels and need to see a pic of early plants. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
November 30, 2010 - I have had a plant for 37 years! It is a vine with leaves that grow in groups of three and they typically have 5 points. The leaves are dark green and shiny. I would love to know what this old friend ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
May 13, 2013 - I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
view the full question and answer

Is there a variety of bluebonnet called black gumbo
February 04, 2008 - I live in Grimes County, Texas on the eastern edge of the Blackland Prairie. A few years ago my hillside of Bluebonnet seed was harvested. I was told it was a rare 'black gumbo' variety of bluebon...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 17, 2011 - There is a sweet pea like vine that grows along the road in NC. IT is pink and looks much like a sweet pea. What is it?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.