5
$\begingroup$

I've been finding these little green (seed/berry) like objects in my garden for three years now.

large variant

This picture shows either a large variant or simply a later lifecycle stage of development.

At their smallest, they look artificial - kind of like nerds candy - almost too green to be natural. In the picture above, it is obvious that the item is a berry, but at the smallest sizes, my first thought was that it was fertilizer. And indeed, I would've continued to think that if not for two things:

  1. We re-mulched our garden two years ago, and didn't fertilize (nor have we ever, but this house is only 3 years old).
  2. When you squeeze even the smallest sized objects, they squirt juice or water.

When the larger berries are crushed, many little seeds come out along with liquid; and it looks almost like a miniature pickled tomato.

There is nothing in my garden that produces any kind of visible berries; and I've never seen one of these attached to a plant. That is part of what makes them so odd (and part of what made me think they were fertilizer); I always find them mixed (sometimes deeply) in soil or mulch.

If no one knows after a couple days, I'll go take a picture of one of the baby ones to help. Any thoughts?

Location: Brighton, MI (USA).

Update:. Here are some other shots. These are both flash shots because it is overcast today. These are also of the younger variant because I couldn't find any of the mature berries today. Hope this helps.

Size Comparison

Another

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I may be useful to take pictures of the several stages, including a "mature" crushed one, together with a size marker like a coin, or even better, a ruler. $\endgroup$ – bli Aug 17 '16 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ @bli I think you are right. I will update soon. $\endgroup$ – dgo Aug 17 '16 at 15:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Other photos that would help: close-up of where the 'stem' joins the 'fruit' (assuming that's what it is); sectioned (sliced in half with a razor) rather than squished, and maybe an 'in situ' shot of one where you found it in the surroundings of your garden? $\endgroup$ – Oreotrephes Aug 17 '16 at 21:28
4
$\begingroup$

Barring further details or photos, your fruits remind me of the drupe from a hackberry (*celtis spp. *) tree.

http://woodyplants.wdfiles.com/local--files/celtis-occidentalis/Celtis_occidentalis_fruit.JPG

Hackberry drupes are relatively small, often being only about 6-10mm in diameter.

Examples: 1, 2.

Do you have any warty looking trees nearby? (like this).

Do you ever see the fruits in a different color? (purple, black, red, orange)?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think you are right. In response to your questions: Different color: maybe purple - though I wouldn't necessarily realized they were the same with other colors. We have a nearby golf course with warty trees, though it's quite a long stones throw away. But my sense is that you are likely spot on $\endgroup$ – dgo Sep 18 '16 at 1:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.