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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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Monday - August 24, 2009

From: West Linn, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant with orange berries in Oregon
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a viney type plant that hangs down over and along a rock wall at my house in Portland, that is producing an orange colored berry. What is it? Is it edible? My neighbor just tried one and he said it was sweet and like a raspberry. I think he's still alive (: but I'd like to try them..just want to know what they are and make sure they are ok to eat. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants suspects you are going to have to take some photos to send so that we can identify your plant, but here are a few possibilities for orange/red fruits on native shrubs or vines that occur in Oregon:

Vaccinium parvifolium (red huckleberry) and here are some photos

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry)

Viburnum edule (squashberry)

Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry)

Rubus parviflorus (thimbleberry) and here are some photos of fruits

Rubus pedatus (strawberryleaf raspberry)

All of these are edible.  Now, if none of these look like your vine, please take photos showing the plant as a whole, a closeup of the leaves and a closeup of the fruits.   Then visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos for identification.  We'll have to get to back to you about whether your berries are safe to eat if they aren't one of those listed above.  How's your neighbor??


Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Viburnum edule

Rubus spectabilis

Rubus pedatus

 

 

 

 

 

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