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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!

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Saturday - April 03, 2010

From: Houma, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Strange produce from non-native lemon seed in Houma LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I grow a lemon tree from a seed. I grafted it from the same tree a year or so later. It is 15 years old and it only produce one year. The question is, the year it produce, the fruit was a pink grapefruit!! What is the answer and will it ever produce again?

ANSWER:

Before we get any deeper into this, let us explain that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of  plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. None of the citrus fruits (or most of the other fruits and vegetables you would buy at a grocery store) are native to North America, so they are really all out of our area of expertise. We don't know the answer, but we will find some websites about what you have done and perhaps you can figure it out.

eHow How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

Texas A&M Extension Horticulture Home Fruit Production - Lemons  "While cuttings and air layers will work, trees grown on their own roots are not as well-adapted to Texas soils. Seed can be used, but seedlings are slow to bear. Too, some of the seedlings may not come true-to-type."

TreeHelp.com Grafting Citrus Trees

Wikipedia Grapefruit

Okay, what you have here is a tree planted from the seed of a fruit that may not breed true from the seed, and then a graft a year later. Grafting a tree usually requires two trees, one root stock and one the plant you want to perpetuate. What was the other tree? We read all the websites above, and still have no clue what is the answer to your question. 

 

 

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