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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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Friday - December 11, 2009

From: San Jose, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of tree with strawberry-like fruit
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

On my walk home from work i noticed a red berry i had never seen before. It is soft like a strawberry, bumpy all over but the bumps are not individual as a raspberry has. It grows on a tall bush (very much like a tree), grows individually like a cherry and the berry has no noticeable seeds on the outside like a strawberry. I will try to get a pic or two and send them later this week. Thank You.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks perhaps your tree with the strawberry-like fruit could be Arbutus unedo, strawberry tree.  It is native to the Mediterranean area, western Europe, and Ireland.  Here are more photos and information.  If this doesn't happen to be your plant, please send us photos.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos.
 

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