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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

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!

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Saturday - November 21, 2009

From: Moorestown, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: ID of plant from florist in Moorestown NJ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a cut stem from the local florist for an autumn flower arrangement. The leaves are very, very small and bamboo-like in looks. They are not oval and are 1/8 inches long. The branches were droopy in nature and had large clusters of tiny green turning pinkish berries. The clusters were profuse and had the stem droop. They were great for a draping effect over a pumpkin. I am doing the flowers for my son's wedding and need to know the name of this. I brought this to my local florist who told me it was a pepper berry stem, but when I looked it up on the Internet, it was not a pepperberry. I went to a landscaper and he thought it was tropical and in the bamboo family. Unfortunately, I do not know how to get the picture into the computer but I could send you a piece of it. Please help.

ANSWER:

Please don't send us a piece of a plant. The last thing we want to do to our Botanical Garden is introduce either a plant or a plant disease. We're probably not going to be able to identify your plant, because most florists sell flowers that are not native to North America and this one certainly sounds like a non-native. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but the area in which they are being grown. Probably your best bet is to go back to the florist and get him to look in his orders and see what the name of the plant is. And at the same time you can find out if he will be able to get it for your son's wedding.
 

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