En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 14, 2014

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identification of tree with round purple leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt large (maybe 10 ft?) and grew in the shade in Houston. Definitely a tree, not a bush.

ANSWER:

By spherical I assume you mean that the leaves are round, not globe-shaped.  As far as I know there aren't any native trees with round purple leaves.  There are cultivated plants that have purple leaves.  Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  Cultivated plants generally have been imported from elsewhere so we will have to refer you to other sources to search for your tree other than searching in our Native Plant Database that countains only North American natives.

Here are some of the popular cultivated plants with purple leaves from (Trees and Shrubs with Purple Leaves from About.com) and more trees and shrubs with purple leaves from BlueBell Arboretum & Nursery.  Some possibilities are Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea', Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' and Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'.  If none of these suggestions look like the tree that you saw, you might consider contacting the Harris County AgriLife Extension Agent or going to a large commercial nursery to ask if they know of a tree that meets your description.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of tree along Austin highways
April 01, 2011 - I am trying to identify a large tree seen along many Austin Highways. The best ID can find is Western Soapberry, but the articles all specify white blooms. The trees I see have purple clusters of bloo...
view the full question and answer

Rash resulting from cutting trees in NC.
May 08, 2012 - My boyfriend was cutting some trees yesterday. He had thorns in his hands after he was done, and today he has a rash on his legs, a fever and he feels like throwing up. Can you tell me if its symptoms...
view the full question and answer

Identity of Dalea plant
April 03, 2013 - While in Austin recently (I live in Dallas), I visited Jardinero on Cesar Chavez and purchased a shrub identified only as "Dalea". It is 3-4 feet tall, upright habit, typical tiny pea family foliag...
view the full question and answer

How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
May 01, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 20, 2010 - I am trying to identify a flowering plant (usually potted) that is commonly seen around homes in Phoenix, AZ. It has a long (1 to 1.5 ft) bare woody stem topped by an umbel of perhaps 15-20 small red...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center