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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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Tuesday - April 26, 2011

From: Sorrento, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Identification of a plant with bumpy red fruit
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a bush with red berry like pods on it. They are about 3/4 of an inch bumpy round with a big seed inside. The leaves are smooth and oval shape. Please let me know if it is poisonous or not, and what it might be. Thank You

ANSWER:

This sounds like Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree).  It is native to Europe.  Here is more information from University of Florida IFAS Extension.  It apparently is not poisonous since it is reported as being edible but not very flavorful.  You can see more photos and find more information at this UBC Botanical Garden site and by searching on the internet using its botanical name.

 

 

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