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

Friday - July 20, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of possible edible huckleberry in Central Texas
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I'm trying to identify a plant in my backyard, and in particular, I'm wondering if it's an edible huckleberry of some kind. Given all the rain Austin has had this summer, I wonder if it's not beyond the realm of the possible. Also, the plant is growing in the shade, and I'd think that's where huckleberries would tend to grow. I'd be happy to send a picture should it help. To describe in semi-scientific terms, it is deep green, with the main branches appearing green (not woody). From each node on the main branches where leaves extend, usually three leaves (not compound, as each has their own stem) extend. I would best desribe the leaves as being in the shape of a miniature catalpa (teardrop), ranging from 1/2" to 1" in length and 1/4" to 1/2" in width. The fruit, also attached to it's own stem, extends from nodes with the leaves. The initial flower is white and it tends to droop, and the fruit begins as green (of course) and turns to red. (Just so you know, I looked in the LBJWC plant database at the 3 huckleberry varieties, and this one does not tend to match up.) Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Sometimes we can identify a plant from a description, often we cannot -- even when the description is as thoughtful and detailed as yours. A picture or set of pictures will help. Here's how to send them to us:

1. Tell us where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.

2. Take several images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.

3. Save images in JPEG format, with resolution set at 300 pixels per inch.

4. Send email with images attached to id@smartyplants.org. Put Plant Identification Request in the subject line of your email.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
August 07, 2008 - I have discovered a vine growing in my boysenberry patch, perhaps spread by birds, but I can't find it in any books. It has 5 smooth leaves with burgundy, pinkish racemes, much like snap dragon flow...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant from Tennessee
June 06, 2011 - I was trying to find the identity of a plant my Grandmother grew around her house in West Tennessee. It was a nonflowering plant, about 12-24 in tall, had thornless leaves similar in shape to holly l...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant with opposite leaves in Washington
June 09, 2009 - My friend just bought a house and in the front yard are some bushes. I don't have a picture, but they are only 1-2 feet tall now. They have these unusual stems, throughout the entire bush. They are v...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in New Jersey
December 29, 2009 - We are trying to find the name of a shrub, growing in Southern New Jersey. with red berries that grow in a group much like lilac or oak leaf hydrangea. It is "feathery", not dense. A neighbor dug u...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with large furry leaves
June 07, 2008 - I have 4 huge plants in my flower garden that I cannot identify. They look like an unfolding cabbage with large furry leaves. They also have tiny stickers on them. This a.m. I went out to check on ...
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