En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plant Identification

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

Sunday - July 06, 2008

From: LaPorte, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify a small tree or large plant here in Indiana. I have seen it from 6 ft to as tall as 15 to 20. It is a green leaf with pink cone shaped growth at the ends of a branch. The cone is upside down (wide part is base of branch) The pink is furry and is made up of very small balls that are greenish/whitish closer to the center of the cone. I first saw this when O was a girl scout in southern Michigan(same are just 10 Min North of here) I actually licked one on a dare back then and it was very sweet tasting. I have been told it is poisonious, but no one seems to know what it is. I did not get sick from it and my father can chew poison ivy and roll around in it (from his childhood stories also) and not get it, so it is possible I would not not have a reaction to poisonious plants either. I do have a picture, but cannot find anything like it on the internet. Please help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has looked for this, but either it's not a plant native to North America and thus is not in our Native Plant Database or I haven't understood your description well enough to recognize it. I am assuming that what you are describing is the fruit of the plant, am I right? If so, do you know what the flower looked like that produced the fruit? Can you describe the shape of the leaves? Does it grow in the woods or in or near someone's lawn or garden? If you can provide this information, Mr. SP might have a better chance of identifying it. Better yet, if you happen to have photos of it, please send them to us and we will have an even better chance of identifying it. Visit Ask Mr. Smarty Plants to find the instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photos.

In case it is a native plant, here is a way you can search for it yourself in our Native Plant Database. Do a Combination Search, selecting 'Indiana' from the Select State or Province category and select 'Tree' from the Habit (general appearance) category. You will get a list of trees that are native and grow in Indiana with thumbnail photos next to most of the entries. You can scroll through them and see if you find one that looks like your plant. You can do the search again choosing 'Shrub' instead of 'Trees' and/or 'Michigan' instead of 'Indiana'.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a plant that looks like a watermelon.
May 21, 2012 - A wild plant came up in my bed that looked like a watermelon plant. It had small yellow blooms and then marble balls formed with prickly thorns. The balls were in clusters. What kind of plant is i...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant in Florida with red fruit like a small tomato
September 03, 2012 - It looks like a small tomato but it isn't. It has a bunch of flakey seeds on the inside, which are a light brown in color. The outside is red, and I think it starts out growing green and also white....
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly chile pequin
September 17, 2008 - Found in my back yard a plant about 18 inches tall. it has tiny white 5 petal flowers and small (smaller than a pea) fuits. The fruits smell just like bell pepper. My nose itched after smelling it. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with 3 leaves and a red trunk
January 02, 2014 - What is a vine with 3 leaves that has a red trunk?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center