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
1 rating

Saturday - June 14, 2008

From: Salem, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant or weed that is a five leaf leave and it is greenish-red and shinny. I have been searching the internet and can't seem to find what it is. It is spread throughout my back yard and with small children I need to know what it is and what it can do if they come in contact with it. At first I thought it was poison sumac, however that only has 3 leaves. I think it's poisonous, because of the shinny leaves. Can you help me? Send me a picture and description of possible five leaf plants that my be poisonous. Thank you.

ANSWER:

The first plant that we thought of with five leaves is Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), a vine whose leaves can be tinged with red even in the spring. The leaves themselves are not poisonous, but the berries it produces are. If this isn't the plant you have in your backyard, the simplest way for Mr. Smarty Plants to help you determine the identity of your plant is to send us digital photographs of it. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to find the instructions for submitting photographs under "Plant Identification". We will do our very best to identify your plant when we receive the photos.

 


Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of mystery plant in yard in El Paso, Texas
March 24, 2015 - I have a plant bed in my yard with mostly shade, in the winter it looked like 10-15 sticks about 2-3 ft tall coming from the ground. Now early March there are green and maroon leaves only growing at t...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant in South Carolina with tiny purple flowers
August 02, 2013 - I found a plant while walking my dogs. I live in South Carolina. The plant gets maybe a foot tall, has a square stem and the top of plant is a candelabra with timy purple flowers in it. What is this...
view the full question and answer

Identity of the mass fields of yellow flowers in North Texas
March 23, 2012 - Are the mass fields of yellow flowers we are seeing in north Texas now likely to be Indian Mustard (brassica juncea) or Charlock (brassica kaber or sinapis arvensis)? We are teaching a wildflower ide...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of tree with strawberry-like fruit
December 11, 2009 - On my walk home from work i noticed a red berry i had never seen before. It is soft like a strawberry, bumpy all over but the bumps are not individual as a raspberry has. It grows on a tall bush (very...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
October 03, 2013 - I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
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