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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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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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Saturday - September 12, 2009

From: Natchitoches, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification for Louisiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Trying to identify a "fruit bearing" plant around Natchitoches, Louisiana. Grows about waist high to average man, slightly elongated green leaf, bearing small green "fruit" or "berry", with paper thin, veiny skin. Grows wild, bushy, deer seem to be attracted to it.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like a species of Physalis.  Here are some that are of sufficient height and are native to Louisiana:

Physalis angulata (cutleaf groundcherry) grows to about 3 feet and here are more photos and information.

Physalis heterophylla (clammy groundcherry) grows to 1.5 to 2.5 feet and here are more photos and information.

Physalis pubescens (husk tomato) grows to 2.5 feet and here are more photos and information.

Physalis virginiana (Virginia groundcherry) grows to 3 feet and here are more photos and information.

If none of these is the plant you have seen, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify your plant.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos.


Physalis angulata

Physalis heterophylla

Physalis pubescens

Physalis virginiana

 

 

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