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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 02, 2012

From: Molino , FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 months. It has had fruit on it for 3 months, also. The fruit is green with a light orange color and the size is 2"1/2 inch wide by 2" high. The leaves are large heart-shaped and dark green in color. The leaves are 9" long by 7"1/2 wide. I can send pictures if you would like. THANK YOU.

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like Thespesia populnea (Portia tree or Seaside mahoe).  It is found in tropical coastal areas around the world but considered native to the Old World and is considered by some people to be native to Hawaii.  Here are more photos and information from Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers and photos of the fruit from Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.  It is categorized as a Category I invasive plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.

If this isn't the plant that you have seen, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of maypop north of Houston
March 08, 2008 - I have some land in the country an hour north of Houston, Texas. There is a wild plant which grows in clusters from 10' to 20' wide. These plants grow about 6" or 12" apart.They are approx. one fo...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a cucumber-like vine with fruit
November 16, 2011 - We found tiny, grape-size white melon-like fruit on a vine, with tomato-like/cucumber-like seeds. The leaves on the vine were similar to grape or cucumber leaves, but not spiny. They were behind our...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vining plants in yard in Texas
May 08, 2015 - I have vining plants in my back-yard, here when I bought the house, that, from what I have been able to find on-line, look like poison sumac, however, I know they are not. Leaf shape, color, and appe...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Villa Hills KY
April 21, 2013 - Hello I have this plant but I don't know what it is. I want to know if it's edible or what it is. I think it's catnip.
view the full question and answer

Identity of red raspberry-like berries in Connecticut
July 28, 2008 - I found some edible berries today in the woods that look like raspberries, are red like raspberries, but don't taste like them at all. They're very shiny red, remove easily from the bush. The flavor...
view the full question and answer

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