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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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Monday - December 24, 2012

From: Grover Beach, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identification of yellow fruit with many fingers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

This is a yellow lemon smelling fruit with many fingers. Yellow in color. Looks like an octopus.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.   Now, I knew that there were no North American native plants with a description like the one that you sent, but I thought I'd see if I could find it anyway.  So, I googled "yellow fruit many fingers" and found Citrus medica var. sarcodactylus (Buddha's hand citron).  Here is more information.  The USDA Plants Database shows it growing in Florida and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but lists it as introduced (I).

 

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