Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Friday - August 14, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify a plant I saw this past weekend in San Diego, California. It was a low growing shrub planted along the road near a beach. The flowers looked like large star jasmine, leaves were bigger and tougher looking. It was thorny and had a red fruit that looked like large plums. Sorry I do not have a photo. Thank you for any information.

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants thinks your description sounds a lot like the plant we were recently asked to identify in a photo that we were sent.  The plant in the photo was  Carissa macrocarpa (Natal Plum). The gentleman who sent us the photo said the plant was growing in Baja California, but said the plant in the photo came originally from Santa Barbara, California.  It was introduced to Santa Barbara, however, since it is a South African native.  If this doesn't look like the plant you saw, let us know and we'll give it another try; however, without a photo it will be more difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of low growing plants with flowers that resemble a bunch of grapes in Graford, TX
February 10, 2011 - I am in northwest TX and I would like to know the name of the early blooming, very low growing plant that has a single bloom on a bare stem--it is dark crimson and the blooms looks like a bunch of gra...
view the full question and answer

Nomenclatural puzzles
March 25, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I have been looking all day for this information. I am look for a plant that is in the genus Cucumis but not in the family Cucurbitacea. A plant that is in the family Cucurbit...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
October 20, 2009 - I have encountered a plant (two growing side by side) in our wooded back yard. It came up on its own, is about two feet tall, has leaves resembling that of an Angel's trumpet, about 4-5" long, jagge...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with red berries in Weatherford, Texas
October 17, 2014 - I have found a vine with red berries that I would appreciate an ID for. How can I send you a photo or two of it?
view the full question and answer

Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
view the full question and answer

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