Sunday, July 5, 2009

ID Plant? Orange "berry", white flower...

I have a mystery plant that pops up each year in a shady part of one of my flower beds. I love the colors and the way it is so hardy (which means it's probably a weed ;-).

I had one plant, now I have two, which I "assume" means one of the berries seeded. With all the berries it produces I'm surprised I don't have a hundred of them, but maybe I'm pulling them up as weeds unaware.

I've lived here five years and a fair percentage of my garden was here when I arrived so it could be something planted by the previous owner or it could be a wild plant.

I've asked my plant friends, the lawn guy and made countless searches on the Internet but haven't been able to identify the plant. My Mom, who knows a lot about plants couldn't identify it either (however, she only had my verbal description to work with... maybe when she sees these photos she'll go "a-ha, I know what it's called...").

I'm sure it's something simple, something common, and someone out there in blog or Twitter land will know the answer... right? please?

The plant is about 2 feet high and is located in the Atlanta, Georgia area (southeast US).

It has pretty small white flowers during early summer that hang upside-down. They have a dark yellow or orange center. I think the petals come to a point, but after looking at so many photos on the Internet I could be remembering incorrectly.

I thought it might be in the Fairybell family because of the flowers, but didn't see any located in the Southeast.

I took a photo of the flowers earlier this year, but can't find them now (of course). They're tiny, not as large as the fruit / berry.

It has 3/4 inch dark shiny fruit or berries that turn a gorgeous orange. I cut one open this morning to see what's inside. It rather looks like a tomato but it's not soft.

It has a familiar smell to it, but for the life of me I can't quite attach it to whatever it's reminding me of from the garden (or maybe the wilds).

Hopefully the plant isn't in the poison sumac family (read that some have an orange berry it seems...) given the fact that I pulled off one of the berries, took it into the kitchen to cut and photograph! That's going to be my next Internet stop. Making me itch just to think of the possibility.

I have searched for "orange berry" and "white flower". Could be I need to change "berry" to "fruit" in my Internet search efforts.

I also tried a search on "Fairybell" and while I found similar flowers, none of the photos showed the fruit.

Any ideas? Anyone know what my mystery plant is named?


  1. I think these may be "Jerusalem cherries".

    I've been trying to identify a wild plant of my own that has pea size orange berries and I found many pics of Jerusalem cherries. I hope this info helps. However, my quest still continues...

  2. I also live in Atlanta Ga. This same plant has popped up in a shade area, same orange berry. I believe this is Jerusalem charries, looks just like the wiki page. Wiki says don't eat it, it will not kill you but may make you a bit sick.