En Español

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

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.

 
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 cattail look-alike, except red
June 21, 2008 - I would like help identify the wildflowers growing beside the highways in my area so I can plant some at my house. We live in Sherwood Arkansas which is just north of Little Rock.The Highway where ...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify hemp-like plant in Bastrop, TX.
June 09, 2014 - What is the large stalky, hemp-like plant that populates our creek bottoms and ditches here in Central Texas? It has large 5-6 in. lobed leaves, and a fibrous central stalk that gets up to 7 ft tall. ...
view the full question and answer

Why do Turk's cap plants have such a variable growth habit?
December 10, 2015 - In visiting the Family Garden at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center yesterday (10-21-15,) I admired a large bunch of Turks Cap that had more blooms than I had ever seen on Turks Cap, and I've loved that...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of vine with fluffy-seeded pod
July 05, 2013 - I saw a fluffy seeded pod on our hike this morning. I have seen this vine before, but do not know the proper and scientific name of it. Its leaves appear to be opposite and heart shaped. Could it be a...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in Tennessee
November 08, 2013 - I am trying to identify a vine growing on the ground under what looks to be a holly bush. I have pictures of it if there is an email I can send them to? Thank You!!!!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center