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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!

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Thursday - July 15, 2010

From: Jacksonville, OH
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I bought a double knock-out rose bush and planted it in my yard. A year later a weed-like plant started growing beside it. It has very thorny leaves, stems and stalk. Little purple flowers are growing from it. On some of the stems/branches there are three small watermelon looking pods growing. What could this be. The thorns are extremely strong and you can not pull it without some gloves. The stalk, stems, and leaves are all a solid light green. The pods look very much like "mini" watermelons. The flowers are a light purple with long petals that have not opened up yet - almost tear drop formed. What is this?

ANSWER:

This sounds like a very interesting plant, but I don't recognize it just from your description.  Please send us photos (flowers, fruits, leaves, stem, the entire plant) and we will do our best to identify it.  For instructions on submitting photos for identification, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.
 

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