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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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Thursday - September 30, 2010

From: Morristown, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My husband brought home a plant which I have not been able to id. It is a bush, has 2 ovate to ellipse leaves, whorled, with 4 (2 pairs) smooth thin skinned (you can see white veins under the skin radiating from the blossom drop )bright red-orange glossy 1/4 inch berries in each whorl. The seeds inside the berry are about the size and shape of tomato seeds (8). This plant was growing wild. What is this plant? Is it native? Is it poisonous? What animals use it as a food source? What is the easiest way to propogate it or is it a good idea to grow it (exotic invasive)? Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants

ANSWER:

Your plant sounds fascinating, but unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a shrub that matches your description.  However, if you will take photos and send them to us, we will do our very best to identify it.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read the instructions for submitting photos.  Please follow those instructions carefully and also make sure your photos are in good focus.

 

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