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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

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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Wednesday - March 13, 2013

From: Stockton, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Seed and Plant Sources, Pruning
Title: Fruit on Jasmines
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

My jasmines have grown some small purple fruits and she is about to get her full bloom soon. Should I cut them off to help the plants out? What are they?

ANSWER:

Thanks for your question. Mr. Smarty Plants is having trouble determining which plants you are growing that have small purple fruit. There are many plants, both natives and non-natives that are called jasmine. Below are the North American natives that we have in our database, but none if these seem to have purple fruit.

Blue jasmine (Clematis crispa)

Lehmann’s rockjasmine (Androsace chamaejasme ssp. lehmanniana)

Pygmyflower rockjasmine (Androsace septentrionalis)

Swamp yellow jasmine (Gelsemium rankinii)

Anyway, even though an exact identity isn’t known, in general, when plants set fruit they do divert energy and resources from growing and flowering to getting their fruit to mature and ripen so they can reproduce. But whether your plant is going to suffer because the fruit is maturing – only you can decide. If the plant is small and weak, it is recommended to prune out the fruit so that energy is not diverted. If you plant is vigorous, healthy and strong, keeping the fruit on won’t harm it and if you want to start more from seed (and your plant isn’t a hybrid), you may want the fruit to mature.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Lehmann's rockjasmine
Androsace chamaejasme ssp. lehmanniana

Pygmyflower rockjasmine
Androsace septentrionalis

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