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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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Saturday - August 11, 2012

From: Redding, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification for Redding, CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a volunteer plant that has dull green leaf with tiny white flowers that turn into a small black berry the size of a raisin. Can you identify it? I live in Redding, Ca. They are popping up in the flower beds.

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, I can't identify the plant you describe.  It might help to know the shape of the leaves and how they are arranged on the stem, the shape of the tiny flowers and where they occur in relation to the leaves.  However, I think your best bet to learn its identity is to take photos and visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.  It may or may not be a North American native plant—many volunteer plants come up from seeds of non-native cultivars from someone's nearby garden.  Considering that it might be a native plant, another possibility is to contact someone  with the Shasta Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.  Since they are right there near you, your description may tell them immediately what you have.  Another gardening resource in your area who might be able to help is Shasta College and University of California Master Gardeners.

 

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