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?


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 - August 21, 2007

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Identification of eleagnus-like shrub
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus


There is a plant on our land I can't identify. It has a tree-like smooth light gray "trunk", with leaves similar to an eleagnus (grayish green and rough on top, lighter underneath). I can't find a "grown-up" version of this, so I don't know if it's a shrub, small tree, or just a woody plant. My mom said it has white little flowers, and black berries. The berries come from the end of the leaf stem, not underneath (I think--it's been awhile since I've seen the berries--maybe Feb or March). Suggestions? Pictures of said suggestions? It's not a Madrone, the leaves are too fat. Thanks for any and all help?


Here are a few possibilities that Mr. Smarty Plants found that have at least some of the characteristics you describe:

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)

Forestiera pubescens (elbowbush or stretchberry)

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)

Condalia hookeri (Brazilian bluewood)

Colubrina texensis (Texan hogplum)

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum (gum bully)

If you don't think that one of these is your plant, please send us photographs and we will do our best to identify it. Here are instructions for submitting photographs for identification:

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, not more than 640 x 480 pixels in size, 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.

You can also see these instructions on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page in the lower righthand corner.

Diospyros texana

Forestiera pubescens

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Condalia hookeri

Colubrina texensis

Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum



More Shrubs Questions

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Male and female possumhaws for berries from Georgetown TX
April 23, 2012 - Do I need to plant two ilex decidua (possumhaws), a male and female to have red berries on the tree in the winter?
view the full question and answer

Will shoes pick up American Beautyberry fruit and stain carpets?
March 21, 2010 - Do the berries from American Beautyberry fall on the ground so your shoes pick up the berries to stain the carpet in my house?
view the full question and answer

Perennials for flower bed in Humble TX
July 28, 2010 - I have a 10 foot by 10 foot flower bed that needs to be replanted and I am located in Houston, TX so what would be some good perennials to plant that are good to grow in this heat? I have been told L...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Savannah Holly plants in Friendswood, TX.
June 17, 2009 - I have planted 4 savannah hollies in front of my house, two on the left of the door and two on the right. If you are standing in front of my house and looking at the door, the sun rises at the back l...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center