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Does anyone recognize this small bush/tree (4-5')? Has very tiny white flowers earlier in the year and then is loaded with yellow-orange fruits (berries?) that cardinals and mockingbirds love. Fruits are full of seeds & seedlings come up readily. Bought at a plant sale and labeled "ornamental orange" but don't think that's what it is. I have duranta with gold berries and it's not that.
The blurry photo makes it difficult to tell, but the fruit looks too smooth to be a kumquat. The leaves are too big and the cluster of fruit too large. Have you cut any of the fruit in half? Does the inside look like a citrus fruit?
I'm familiar with kumquats and, having eaten quite a few, I'm pretty sure that's not what this is. Fruits are only 1/2" diameter. I've attached another picture with one berry sliced to show tiny seeds. These readily produce new plants just from dropping on the ground. The bush is about 5' tall, not very dense but well shaped, and loaded with these fruits which are preceded by tiny white flowers. There's no citrus odor to the fruit or to the shiny, dark green leaves.
Still a mystery... Maybe I'll just call it a Cardinal Candy Bush as they really love the fruits.
I appreciate the responses but, after researching pics and info on nightshade, that isn't what it is either. The base on this bush is about 2" in diameter and hard (wood). It grows fast and could be it's going to get much taller than 5' so maybe it's a small tree. The flowers are tiny and white (maybe 1/4" - star shaped - 5 petals).
if you like it and the children can be taught not to mess with it, keep it if you like it. there are so many poisonous plants that it would be folly to try and eradicate all of them. it's like snakes or anything else, just be mindful.
Positively identified as Solanum diphyllum. Thanks to those who pointed me in that direction. Found it on a different site but also found mention of it here on Dave's Garden (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/96741/).
Now I have a couple of things to consider about the plant...
#1 - Poisonous - So are a lot of other plants very common in homes and yards, everything from ficus to wisteria to poinsettia. Best to teach kids not to pick or eat any plant part whether at home or on a walk in the park. There are poisonous plants and other dangerous items that children need to be warned to avoid no matter where they are.
#2 - Invasive - Somewhat more of a concern since this does seem to be a fairly prolific plant. I'll be pulling most of the seedlings that have come up and just keeping the original plant.
It's quite pretty and, as I mentioned, I love watching the cardinals eat the berries (yes, I know the birds can spread seeds).
Again, thanks. I just joined this forum, posted my first question, and got such quick results.