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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

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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



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