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

Tuesday - July 29, 2014

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant in my yard about 3' high, narrow pointy smooth leaves covered with small berries that are turning purple. What is this? a weed? should I eliminate it from my xeriscape garden or welcome it?

ANSWER:

From your description I have two possible suggestions.  Perhaps I should say, rather, that they are guesses.  One is Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) and the other is Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed).  Both have leaves that are narrower than they are long and both produce purple-colored berries.

If neither of these is your plant, please photograph it and visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.  Be sure to read the "Important Notes" about taking photos of the plant.

Whether you eliminate or not is your choice.  If you like the way it looks, unless it is considered an invasive plant, there is no reason to remove it.

 

From the Image Gallery


American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identfication
September 28, 2009 - I live in Kyle Texas and my neighbor has a tree with white blooms and when they fall off the twigs have a wavy look at the end with no leaves. we spoke to a nursery and they thought maybe an eve's ne...
view the full question and answer

Identity of red raspberry-like berries in Connecticut
July 28, 2008 - I found some edible berries today in the woods that look like raspberries, are red like raspberries, but don't taste like them at all. They're very shiny red, remove easily from the bush. The flavor...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on cross pollination
August 16, 2005 - I live in Cosby, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I plant native species of wildflowers and shrubs. My question to you is: I planted cucumbers in raised beds next to t...
view the full question and answer

Can you identify a funny looking bulb that I bought at the grocery store? Probably not..
May 06, 2010 - I looked through your data base and did not find what I was looking for. I bought this funny looking bulb at a grocery store. It looked like a giant shriveled spider when i bought them. Due to lack of...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
December 06, 2007 - I had a coworker bring back a branch of tree from San Antonio and the end of the branch fans out into a drapery type structure about a foot long with bud looking things all over it, almost fungally lo...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center